Editor's Comment

Halt careless political talk

THE tongue is a very small part of the body but has potential to bring down nations.
James 3:5 describes the tongue as a fire and a world of evil among the parts of the body.
And Proverbs 18:21 states that the tongue can bring death or life and those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Actually the 1994 Rwanda genocide is largely attributed to the carelessness of the tongue, where one politician Leon Mugesera, gave a speech to 1,000 ruling Hutu party members, describing Tutsis as “cockroaches” and called for their extermination. His careless speech led to the massacre of about 800,000 people and the total breakdown of Rwanda.
The former politician was actually jailed in April this year for the atrocities he committed using his tongue.
It therefore raises great concern when we hear politicians going round claiming they have already won the yet to be held general elections.
What is even more worrying is declaration that these politicians will not accept the results of the elections if they will not be in their favour.
We could not agree more with the Electoral Commission of Zambia that this is unreasonable behaviour which must be stopped with immediate effect.
Such declarations in campaigns have potential to create anarchy and violence in an event that election results turn out the other way.
Political leaders need to approach these elections with open minds considering that in any election there are winners and losers.
The only time a politician can claim to have won an election is after voting. This is after results are verified and a winner declared by Electoral Commission of Zambia.
Candidates do not declare themselves winners even after voting has been done, worse still before people exercise their right to vote.
This is nothing but a recipe for anarchy by psyching supporters to reject loss even if genuine.
Just like in football no one can claim to have won a match before they get on to the pitch just because they have had some productive training sessions.
Just like a match is won on the pitch, an election is won in the polling booth.
Those claiming to have won cannot tell us they have access to the minds of over 6 million Zambian registered voters.
Politicians also need to be very careful with the way they judge their popularity because in the era of ‘Politics of the Belly’, it is very easy to be deceived that you have so much support when in fact people are just there to benefit from your politically motivated generosity.
We all know that the ballot is secret and what these voters do in the polling booths is only known to them.
It is therefore highly irresponsible for any politician to unrealistically raise their hopes and that of their supporters that theirs is victory and nothing else.
Politicians need to understand that the political scene is also besieged by some irrational cadres who are always under the influence of alcohol.
This can be seen in the escalating cases of political violence in the recent past. This is evidence that some wrong elements have invaded politics and issuing such careless statements will only fuel the anarchy and violence.
The politicians who are declaring themselves winners and threatening to reject results if they lose are just exposing their desperation for plot 1 – State House.
This further raises questions on the genuineness of their desires to serve the Zambian people.
If people are ready to cause anarchy for the sake of assuming power then they are not worthy their political calling and are a danger to society.
No one and we say no one is worth the blood of another.
It is for this reason we commend President Lungu for showing leadership by strongly denouncing bloodshed for political power.
We expect this message to resonate from all political players in this year’s election.
Zambians should out rightly reject any leaders who show no regard for the laws of the land and most importantly human life.
ECZ should also go beyond warning and punish any politician who attempts to sacrifice the lives of innocent Zambians on the altar of self-expediency.

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