Editor's Comment

US poll endorsement highly esteemed

LINDA Thomas-Greenfield.

THE United States of America, the world’s biggest and vibrant democracy, has endorsed President Edgar Lungu’s election in the tightly-contested August 11 general elections.
The US cannot be swayed by anything and had that government been in doubt regarding President Lungu’s re-election, it could have spoken out.
In fact, the US and the European Union were going to make it clear had they not been happy with the outcome of the elections.
Instead, the US government has said it recognises President Lungu as having been duly elected and it expects all Zambians, including losing presidential candidates, to regard him as such.
The US government has even gone further by warning that anyone who will agitate any form of violence in the aftermath of the court processes will be held accountable not only within the Zambian legal framework but also internationally.
US Under Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said this on Saturday evening when she held a meeting with President Lungu at Wardolf Astoria Hotel where the head of State is accommodated.
“Your Excellency, you have been inaugurated and you are President for everyone. Even the 47 percent [of closest loser Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development] must accept that you are their President,” Mrs Thomas- Greenfield said.
This endorsement by the world’s biggest democratic nation should, therefore be held in high esteem. It is surprising that over a month since elections were held, some opposition political parties have continued to dispute Mr Lungu as the legitimately elected President.
This is despite some parties having exhausted the dispute process through the courts of law where they sought relief.
Like Mrs Thomas-Greenfield said, the post-election court processes are over and it is time for Zambians to move on. Zambians should not be held hostage by anyone’s political interest.
There is absolutely no need to continue keeping the country in an election mood because that time is past. It’s now time to move on as a united force that the country has always been.
The next elections are due in 2021 and no matter how aggrieved some political players may be, it is time to heal.
Instead of sulking, the United Party for National Development should come out of denial and start planning for 2021 because the 2016 elections were not the last polls this country has held.
Besides, there are many other areas of our country to which the UPND could expend their ideas and energy instead of causing confusion in Zambia.
The UPND still needs Zambia and it may not do if they decide to seek uncivilised means of trying to register their grievances.
The UPND should heed the US government’s timely warning that anyone who will agitate any form of violence in the aftermath of the court processes will be held accountable not only within the Zambian legal framework but also internationally.
We, therefore, appeal to the collective conscience of the UPND not to force their service on people who have already chosen their leaders.
The opposition party should equally not be misled by individuals, groupings and organisations that clearly have vested interest in the governance of the country.
It’s now time everyone retreated to their routines and worked hard to ensure our country’s democracy is entrenched and the economic outlook improved.



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