SACCORD welcomes and commends Zambia for being ranked as the 5th most peaceful country in Sub-Saharan Africa in the latest Global Peace Index and ranked in the top 40 peaceful countries around the world. The latest ranking show Zambia’s pedigree in maintaining peace and the efforts that the country continues to nurture her peace and stability. From being in the top 5 in Africa, we believe that Zambia has the potential to be ranked as the number 1 peaceful country in Africa ifthe spectre of political violence within and across political parties can be addressed. In addition, Zambia as a developing country being ranked in the top 40 peaceful country around the world has the capacity to be ranked in the top 10 or 20 of the most peaceful countries in the world. The spectre of political violence has to be address as well as addressing the sources of conflict in the country such as the Public Order Act (POA), the Constitution and the Electoral Process Bill.
The recent reconciliation in the provincial leadership in the Eastern Province of Zambia for the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) following incidences of intra-party political violence is encouraging and welcome. The reconciliation is difficult especially that acts of violence were involved among the competing camps. It is such a gesture that is critical in starting the process of addressing the spectre of political violence in the country. When peace prevails within political parties it can contribute to generating greater peace among political parties and ultimately within the nation. This greater national peace has to be practiced and it is opportunities such as the pending Katuba by-election that political parties can use as a basis for practicing a peaceful country. We appeal to all political players to exercise utmost restraint in the forthcoming Katuba by-election so that it becomes a basis for holding peaceful campaigns going forward.