Editor's Comment

Practise civilised politics for 2021

“PROFANITY has become a norm in politics. Some people think to insult is to be the best politician. If you can utter the biggest insult in your vocabulary on your opponent, then you are a good politician.
“No, it should not be like that.
We need mature politics especially during next year’s general election.
We want messages that will address economic challenges we are facing,” renowned politician Katele Kalumba said.
Dr Kalumba could not have put it any better than this. The rate at which political morality and maturity is deteriorating in the country is worrying, to say the least.
The kind of political discourse Zambians have been subjected to in the recent past is not only demeaning but an affront to civilisation; the kind of politics that is void of issues and punctuated with hate speech
and mudslinging. One would have assumed that such kind of politics remained in the Stone Age.
The sad reality is that even today we have politicians who behave as though they are still in the Stone Age era! These are the kind of politicians who do not understand the language of dialogue and political tolerance.
To them politics is about insulting and injuring those with opposing views. Their discourse is void of any substance.
Today’s political discourse has deteriorated to levels where even the highest office in the land has been disparaged in the name of politics and freedom of expression.
However, what is true is that our political space has been invaded by political imposters who have nothing to offer other than insults and particularly against those in authority.
As rightly observed by Dr Kalumba, there is need to raise the bar for the 2021 elections.
All those vying to contest should prepare themselves adequately to be able to articulate how they are going to help solve the country’s pressing challenges.
It is known that there are people who are so obsessed with removing the government in power without offering alternative solutions. Their focus is not on what value they are bringing to the table, but what they can gain from the political office.
Zambians should not be distracted by the political noise that comes with campaigns. They should look out for and demand issue-based political campaigns ahead of next year’s elections.
Political parties should take time to disseminate their ideologies to all their members. We look forward to a time when political parties will be identified by ideologies for which they stand and not how well they can insult or cause violence.
Even in the heat of campaigns, candidates must always remember that politics is not a matter of life and death but a mere offer to serve the people.
So why should it be normal to insult or injure political opponents in the quest to serve people.
Surely politicians can do better by focusing on things that build the country other than massaging their egos.
The country is faced with a myriad of challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.
The country has a long journey towards economic recovery following the devastating effects of COVID-19.
There’s urgent need to revive and sustain businesses beyond the COVID-19 era. Needless to say, the country needs to keep track of the Vision 2030 to become an upper middle-income nation. In moving towards achieving this agenda there are industries and jobs to be created. Sectors such as education, agriculture, health and many others need to be boosted through investments and various initiatives to build a better country.
As we approach the 2021 elections, politicians should spare the Zambian people the insults and empty political statements.
Politicians will do well to tell the Zambians how they are going to grow the economy and create jobs. They should tell the country how they are going to transform the agriculture, health and education sectors, among others.
We, like many Zambians, are tired of insults and mudslinging among political players. Let there be political maturity as we approach 2021.

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