Editor's Comment

This is how it should be!


UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) will from today start attending national events to promote national unity.
UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said the party will today be part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day.
This is how it should be.
For many years the UPND took a rather retrogressive stance of alienating themselves from important national events, to the point of making themselves almost irrelevant.
For instance, years have passed without UPND setting foot at national events to commemorate Independence Day, Africa Freedom Day and other such activities.
Despite invitations from Government, the UPND were adamant not to attend national events that include National Day of Prayer, National Dialogue Forum and many other such important events.
We have on several occasions spoken out on the need for political parties to put a dividing line between politics and national matters.
It was evident that our politicians were failing to differentiate between politicking and matters of national interest.
This unfortunately has contributed to the levels of division being witnessed today.
It is only common knowledge that shunning important events, as the UPND did, only succeeded in sending messages of discord among supporters.
No matter the differences in political opinions, politicians must realise that they are Zambians first and they owe the country a duty of allegiance.
It is therefore heartening to hear that UPND has finally rescinded its decision to shun national events.
The UPND has assured the country that starting with today’s commemorations of International Women’s Day, they will attend all national events.
This is what we expect from any politician who claims to have the country’s interests at heart.
The decision by the UPND to rescind their stance is no doubt confirmation that they did not find value or gain anything of worth by boycotting national events. Their actions, more likely, only contributed in sowing seeds of discord among followers.
Needless to say, the stance taken by UPND not to work with Government also deprived their Members of Parliament an opportunity to interact with their respective electorate.
It is good that the UPND has resolved to work with Government in uniting the country.
“The party’s position is that we want to live by our words of holding our colleagues in government to be truthful to the ‘One Zambia, One Nation’.
“We must all be seen to do things that gravitate to the realisation of this [One Zambia, One Nation].
“Our main business now is to be partners with the government of the day in uniting the country, that is our business,” Mr Mweetwa said.
This is indeed progressive thinking and we hope the opposition party will stand and live by its words that it wants to “delink and divorce ourselves from being part of the problem. We want to be part of the solution”.
As stated, it is the responsibility of every politician, not just those in Government, to unite the country.
It is a known fact that some politicians have been the major source of divisions being experienced today.
It is good that the UPND has realised that it was part of the problem and has now taken a stance to be a part of the solution. This is commendable and must be encouraged by all political parties.
UPND’s decision comes barely two days after the State of the Nation Address by President Edgar Lungu where he emphasised the need for unity and to uphold ‘One Zambia, One Nation’.
After the address, the President showed magnanimity when he stopped to chat and have a light moment with opposition members before going out. This is how it should be. While politicians differ in ideologies, those differences should not translate into enmity.
There should be a place for politicians to differ in opinion and a place to sit together over a cup of coffee.
That is the level of political engagement the country should aim for.

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