Many political parties in Zambia are a bunch of hooligans-VJ
Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga has described majority of political parties in Zambia as a bunch of hooligans.
Dr Mwaanga says many political parties are merely registered and legalized gangs or even a bunch of hooligans interested in causing violence.
He was speaking in Lusaka when he delivered a paper on the theme ‘Political Violence, a nemesis of democracy at a summit of political parties organised by SACCORD, the Zambia Centre for Inter Party Dialogue and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
“On what basis do we expect our political parties to be violent free when the society from which their members are coming from is reeling with violent members? Political parties are supremely social creations and they reflect our values as a people. They draw their membership from our communities,” Dr Mwaanga said.
He stated, “It is for this reason that an argument can be made that many of our political parties are in effect, registered and legalized gangs or even a bunch of hooligans. I know such a depiction maybe harsh and not sit easily with the political parties but before anyone crucifies me, let them ask themselves the question: is the violence taking place in political parties different from the violence taking place in compounds at household or community levels?”
Dr Mwaanga has since implored the Church and the family to assume their roles if Zambia is to witness a political violence free Zambia.
He also cited unemployment as the key factor that fuels political violence in the country.
“An important factor that fuels political violence in our country is the high rate of unemployment, Many young people remain out of work and struggle to get by. An additional hundreds of them remain uneducated. Every year, our schools, at various levels, offload additional recruits onto the streets.”
Dr Mwaanga added, “deprived of gainful employment and social or recreational amenities where they can deploy their energies, many of them remain readily available for hire when Politician A wants to deal with Politian B as their struggle for the acquisition of power or even more power intensifies.”
He also appealed to Zambians to remain united as the country celebrates its golden jubilee anniversary.
“As we embark on the next fifty years of nationhood, let us say that we have had enough of violence and no more. Let us proclaim death sentence on the horrifying and savagery practice of political violence. Let reason usurp the place of machetes and pangas. Let the silence of thoughtfulness and peace triumph over the sounds of a hacked fellow citizen,” he said.