Editor's Comment

America’s politics worth emulating

FORMER Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s presence on Capitol Hill during the swearing-in of her former opponent Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States showed how mature democracy is in that country.
Mrs Clinton, who was accompanied by her husband Bill, former US President, and top aide Huma Abedin, was under close scrutiny from the cameras.
Despite allegations of Russia having tampered with the results and the protests that followed Mr Trump’s victory, Mrs Clinton has remained composed and did not want to ruin the country’s mood by speaking ill of his rival and boycotting the inauguration ceremony.
If anything, Mrs Clinton was over the moon despite the media attention she received.
“I’m here today to honour our democracy and its enduring values,” Mrs Clinton tweeted on Friday. “I will never stop believing in our country and its future.”
Mrs Clinton was conscious that even if she had decided to shun the inauguration, it was not going to take away Mr Trump’s legitimacy.
By showing up, Mrs Clinton demonstrated that there is unity in diversity, and misunderstandings should not erode national identity and unity.
That is why chairperson of the House of Chiefs Chief Ntambu has urged politicians in the country to emulate the political maturity exhibited by Mrs Clinton following her electoral defeat.
Chief Ntambu of North-Western Province observed that Mrs Clinton’s attendance of Mr Trump’s inauguration is a clear indication of her dedication to democracy and unity of purpose.
“I have been following the elections in America through the media and I noticed that despite their [Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton] differences, the two leaders tried to foster oneness during the inauguration,” he said.
Chief Ntambu said both the winners and the losers in an election had a role to play in fostering peace and unity after the polls.
Chief Ntambu is right: Whether one loses or wins an election, all citizens have a role to play to develop the country.
The chief has further counselled politicians from frowning upon politics or practising politics of antagonism because it is detrimental to development and unity.
Instead, like Chief Ntambu said, all politicians are expected to promote civility among their supporters.
Zambians are not just followers of American politics but admirers of that democracy, which has spanned over 200 years.
Zambia has clear laid down procedures for expressing grievances, and shunning inaugurations is none of them.
We expect the winners and the losers in an election to embrace and play a role in fostering peace and unity after the polls.
Being permanently bitter and antagonistic will not help any political party become popular.
The opposition should learn from late President Michael Sata, who, despite sensing electoral fraud, put country ahead of any agenda.
He picked up the pieces and started campaigning in earnest until the country appreciated his message and overwhelmingly voted for him in 2011.
This is what we expect of the major opposition United Party for National Development and its leadership.
They should come out of the cocoon and help Zambia heal from the 2016 general elections differences.
Mrs Clinton offered a perfect example which UPND president Hakainde Hichilema can freely emulate.

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