There are no two sides to the electoral violence in Lusaka and beyond

By Elias Munshya

Those who abuse power usually shift blame to the victims. Even as it is biting off your apple, the snake first demobilizes your ability to fight back so that once it bites or eats you, you will think that you brought this by yourself. Racism, tribalism, or even the violence that underly them are perpetrated chiefly by those with the levers of power. They perpetrate evil and then, in the end, play the victim card. They claim, ever so, convincingly that they are the actual victims, and yet they are the ones wielding guns, pangas, and knives.

What I have explained above, it not different from what we see in Lusaka and beyond. The Patriotic Front party funds several armed militias in Lusaka. Specifically, they fund the militias at Intercity Bus Stop, at Kulima Tower, and several militias in places such as Kanyama and Chawama. All these militias, with their respective chains of command and self-proclaimed commanders, terrorize innocent citizens in the name of protecting the party or its leader – Edgar Chagwa Lungu. We cannot hasten to mention that these are the Edgar Chagwa militias. You ask them why they do what they do – and they tell you to point-blank, that their role is to ensure that Edgar Chagwa Lungu continues to govern, and they will use all tools necessary to ensure that they put him back “pamupando”. This is no secret. The so-called self-proclaimed commanders have said so. The PF party tried to dissociate itself from one particular top dog from Chawama – only to backtrack and embrace him and his violent ways. The so-called commander from the Chawama barracks is seen in various photographs with PF highfliers adorning the military gear. Just recently, FDD-cum-PF nshima twerker was seen by good wishers busy dancing to songs that this top dog from Chawama was singing for her. The one the PF said was an outcast is now an inside and commander of the fury and violence that the party plans to unleash on the people of Zambia.

And yet, we pause and ask ourselves. Who is behind this militia? How in the mukula can the whole Zambia police fail to bring order to our streets? How can a militia grow right under the nose of perhaps Southern Africa most peaceful streets? How did we get here where the militia and its leaders would ban the colour red in the central business district? Mumbwe pakulila kano pali uko ashintilile amatako. These militias are growing because they are being backed by very top dops within the Patriotic Front. Therefore, it is hypocritical for the PF or its leader Edgar Chagwa Lungu to express ignorance about these thugs. Who the mukula is funding these thugs?

One thug – the top dog from Chawama – is right now in court facing charges of criminal trespassing. While acting together with some persons, it is alleged that this gentleman did trespass on the property of the Patriotic Front without permission and caused mayhem and confusion. But that is the part of the police. They arrested and charged this thug. And yet, barely 3 or 4 weeks later, this same top thug is being welcomed in the top ranks of the Patriotic Front. How come? How can the police fight these thugs and militias when these same thugs and militias are seen in bed with the Patriotic Front and its leaders?

Of course, this is where the unfairness comes in. Some people draw a moral equivalence between the Patriotic Front militias and other groups of cadres from opposition parties. Such kind of equivalence is not only unfair but is also immoral. There are no two sides to the violence we are seeing. There are no two sides to the militia problem we see in Zambia. It is the Patriotic Front, with the support of government leaders, that is perpetuating the violence in Lusaka. To say that Hakainde Hichilema is equally responsible for violence goes to show the kind of psychopaths we are dealing with – people that have no shame to terrorize citizens and then turn back to claim that it is Hichilema doing it. No. it is not Hichilema causing any violence in Lusaka. It is the PF militia. And unless the President of PF, Mr Edgar Lungu, is severe enough to do something about his militia – we are bound to witness more mayhem.

President Lungu should not be hiding behind significant passages of Scriptures he posts on his Facebook pages. He needs to disembark from the manone he is experiencing from the Gulfstream aircraft and solve this violence issue. Barely 2 hours after he had recovered from a very brief and inconsequential fainting episode, the President had the opportunity to address electoral violence from his PF militias. Instead, he thought it was an opportunity for him to claim that if the police do not curb the PF militias – he will have no option but to invoke Presidential powers. We can only speculate what he meant by that. Perhaps after he had recovered from this brief dizziness, he needed reminding that the police are his police. Instead of insulting them – he needed to act and disband the PF militia. That alone would go a long way in ensuring peace and stability for our fragile democracy. Because to be very sure – Zambian democracy must not be getting this dizzy!

The author, Elias Munshya, can be reached at


  1. Zambian leaders should think seriously about the proclamation of Zambia as a Christian nation because what’s obtaining on the ground in these campaigns reflects a heathen nation that does not know Jesus as Lord. God cannot be mocked, what goes around comes around and the wheels always turn. The day of reckoning shall come soon….

  2. This article is well articulated and straightforward, the patriotic front is the source of all political violence in the country and they hide under the veil of caderism and even later play victim,.

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