Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) president Sean Tembo says politicians must desist from using derogatory language which has potential to create conflict among citizens.

And Police Spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo says police have formally charged United Progressive People (UPP) president Saviour Chishimba with Defamation of the President.

In a statement today, Tembo regretted Chishimba’s arrest but noted that politicians had a duty to uphold good values and habits because they were inevitably role models to their respective societies.

“The Patriots for Economic progress regrets the reported arrest of the Party President for the United Progressive People (UPP) Dr. Saviour Chishimba, for the alleged offense of Defamation of a Republican President. We would however like to take this opportunity to appeal to all political players to desist from using derogatory language which has the potential to create conflict,” Tembo stated.

“As politicians, we are inevitably role models in our society and a number of young citizens tend to look up to us and imitate our values and habits. We have a duty to make sure that those values and habits are good ones and not anchored on derogatory language towards one another. we wish to put it on record that we disagree strongly with the PF and it’s government, but we have so far not found it necessary to use derogatory language towards them, or indeed towards any other political adversaries.”

Tembo observed that opposition political players had a responsibility of holding the government accountable by providing appropriate checks and balances and called on them to focus on that responsibility.

“PeP further believes that as opposition political parties, we need to dedicate our energy towards holding the government of the day accountable through appropriate checks and balances, providing alternative policy positions as well as outlining to the Zambian people what we shall do for them if we assume power, by articulating our party manifestos,” stated Tembo.

“We strongly believe that opposition political parties play a vital role in the governance of our nation and such role should not be maligned through the use of derogatory language towards one another or indeed towards the government of the day. Let us strongly disagree with one another but in a sober and cordial manner befitting a civilized nation such as ours.”

And Katongo, in a separate statement, announced that Chishimba had officially been charged and would appear in court next week.