News / Africa

Zambia Won’t Condone Political Violence, Says Official

Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Jan. 2012 file photo.
Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Jan. 2012 file photo.
Peter Clottey
Zambia’s information minister says President Michael Sata’s administration will not tolerate acts of violence perpetrated by political groups aimed to create chaos and destabilize the country.

Joseph Katema also denied opposition accusations that the administration has narrowed the political space preventing them from effectively playing their role as checks on the government.  He says the state’s broadcasting companies give equal access to all political parties.

“The opposition political parties are enjoying very conducive environment,” said Katema. “Little did we hear of an opposition political party on a national television broadcaster, national print media, which are solely owned by the government. They can participate and [are] given equal platform, which had never happened in the history of this country,” he said.

His comments came after Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) was attacked while participating in a program on a private local radio station in Ndola, in the country’s northern Copperbelt region. UPND supporters accused members of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party for the attack.

The country’s Human Rights Commission and Wynter Kabimba, the justice minister and general secretary of the PF condemned the attack. Katema also decried the violence.

“The Patriotic Front government believes in the rule of law and at no time is it going to tolerate any acts of violence against any of its citizens. And it doesn’t matter from which political party the perpetrators are coming from, the government does not condone [it],” said Katema. “The spokesperson of the Patriotic Front says that anybody found in perpetrating any acts of violence would be disowned when the law starts to take its course,” he said.

But opposition groups say the government is to blame for the violence against opponents of the administration, since attacks on opposition leaders are often carried out by partisans of the ruling PF who, they contend, remain unpunished for their acts of violence.

Katema disagreed, and called on supporters of political parties to be tolerant of their opponents.

“Both the ruling party and the opposition parties [should] call for level headedness when we are handling matters of importance to this nation, that we should moderate our tone,” said Katema. “Provocation as well should not be tolerated, it being from the ruling party or from the opposition parties. So I am appealing to both parties to moderate in the way that they are conducting partisan business,” he said.

Katema says the government has implemented measures to ensure an equal playing field for opposition groups to freely carry out their activities devoid of violence. He however says the government will not condone pronouncements that incite violence and chaos.

“The government has always appealed to the opposition parties that any political player that in as much as freedom is given, it should go hand-in-hand with responsibility. Going to the media to go and propagate violence is not acceptable,” said Katema.
Clottey interview with Joseph Katema, Zambia's information minister
Clottey interview with Joseph Katema, Zambia's information ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid