Editor's Comment

Lungu stance mark of good leadership

IT IS unfortunate that the issue of violence keeps on popping up every time opposing political cadres cross paths.
The hostility exhibited in the political circles has raised concern among citizens not once, but several times.
To say that people are tired of hearing reports of violence is an understatement. To put it simply, the ugly shades of violence are distorting people’s view of democracy.
Zambia is widely known to be a peaceful country and it goes without saying that this has made the country win trust from the international community.
Peace the country has enjoyed over the years has brought in investment to various parts of the country and the gains are still being experienced to date.
However, it will not benefit the country if political players resort to violence instead of selling their parties with issue-based politics.
We commend President Edgar Lungu for encouraging his supporters to exercise restraint in the wake of hostility shown to him in Monze recently by some United Party for National Development followers.
The President called on his party members not to pay tit-for-tat to the UPND for the hostility they showed him when he visited Monze in Southern Province about a week ago.
Mr Lungu told PF supporters when he arrived at Mongu airport yesterday that vengeance belongs to God.
“Let me make it clear that vengeance is not ours, it’s for the God Almighty to give,” he said, adding, “two wrongs do not make a right,” he said.
President Lungu’s call to his members to avoid vengeance is a mark of good leadership which is essential to the tenets of co-existence among citizens in the country.
Opposition political players should emulate President Lungu by impressing on their cadres to stop politics of violence but focus on their programmes of selling their manifestos to voters as the country heads to the polls next year.
“The people who vote for us are at home and they are watching us. What they see is what makes them vote for us. If they see us as a violent party, which is disrespectful of one another, they will not give us the vote,” he said.
Indeed, voters have nothing to lose if political players waste their time by engaging in violence all the time.
But it should also be borne in their minds that as much as they want to use violence to mark their territories, their actions will erode the spirit of democracy among the people.
We also commend Vice-President Inonge Wina for emphasising non-violence politics among PF members in the wake of the Mufulira fracas, where UPND and PF cadres clashed at a radio station.
Mrs Wina said violence is not a tool for attracting votes from people and should be strongly condemned by everyone and not allowed to continue in the country.
“I am warning perpetrators of violence that their days are numbered because we will not allow them to continue.
“We need to inculcate values of peace, harmony and love in people for us to win their hearts,” Mrs Wina said.
The messages given by the two leaders should be a yardstick for reconciliation among political leaders and their supporters.
Although calls for reconciliation have been echoed before and disregarded by some political leaders, there is need for political players to renew their resolve towards civility in politics.
We also call upon the youths to avoid being used by politicians in perpetuating violence. They should say no to violence but participate in grass root politics with a view to bringing out their problems for possible solutions.
The PF and the UPND, the biggest transgressors, should know that in a democracy, violence does not win you elections.

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