VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga says political leaders should grow up and put Zambia first; above their personal greed and ambition in order to end violence.
And Mwaanga says President Edgar Lungu should appoint a small non-partisan advisory council of elders to independently and objectively advise him on important issues.
Meanwhile, Mwaanga says Parliament should immediately adjourn to minimise further COVID-19 infections and deaths.
In a write up, Sunday, Mwaanga stated if political violence was allowed to persist, citizens would not be able to exercise their Constitutional right to freely vote for candidates of their choice.
“A few days ago, I was elated when I heard President Lungu say at a meeting in Western Province, that his party PF, would not retaliate against those who attacked PF cadres in Mufulira, who attempted to disrupt a UPND function. He went on to make a profoundly important point to the effect that “two wrongs, don’t make a right”. I applauded this statement which I considered mature and responsible, befitting a head of state. He had hardly finished speaking, when I heard on a few Community radio stations, that hired PF cadres had arrived in Mufulira to revenge the attacks on PF cadres by UPND cadres, who were hellbent on disrupting a UPND function,” he stated.
“If the current political violence is allowed to persist, there is no way in which our citizens will be able to exercise their Constitutional right to freely vote for Presidential, Parliamentary and Councillors of their free choice. How did we allow ourselves to get to such a low point? Where has our tolerance and love for one another regardless of political affiliation or Ethnicity gone? Where has our abhorrence of corruption gone?”
Mwaanga stated that all politicians were responsible for the deteriorating state of affairs in the country.
“The politicians are responsible for this deteriorating state of affairs in our country and I mean all politicians without exception. Why are they refusing to have dialogue where all these issues can be fully discussed and solutions found as used to be the case before? To all the political leaders, I have this to say. You have let the people down. You have let the country down. You have let Africa down. You have let the world down. Above all, you have let humanity down. Please grow up. Put politics aside and put Zambia first and not your personal greed and ambition. The people out there are going through unbearable pain as a result of unemployment, high food prices, the resurgence of tribal rhetoric, deteriorating education standards and poor health infrastructure,” Mwaanga stated.
“Political intolerance within political parties and with other political parties, continues to escalate at a frightening pace. Political leaders are just busy amassing personal wealth and doing nothing to collectively deal with the problem. They have become part of the conspiracy of silence. They are not talking to each other and seem content to apportioning blame to each other and using vitriolic language against each other in the media. This is not who we are as Zambians. Political power is never permanent and recent political and election events in what was once regarded as docile Malawi, speak volumes.”
And Mwaanga stated that President Lungu should appoint a small non-partisan advisory council of elders to independently and objectively advise him on important issues.
“President Lungu, should appoint a small non-partisan advisory council of elders to independently and objectively advise him on a number of important issues which come up from time to time. Many Presidents around the world have these councils, which have been of great help to them. This council should comprise men and women, who have high personal integrity and who are not praise singers or those looking for personal favours. Our country is endowed with an abundance of very experienced and knowledgeable men and women, who are overflowing with institutional and current knowledge, which President Lungu and future Presidents will find valuable,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Mwaanga stated that Parliament should immediately adjourn to minimise further COVID-19 infections and deaths.
“In the last few days, the number of COVID-19 infections has been going up at an alarming rate, not just in Zambia, but around the world, putting unbearable pressure on dedicated health professionals, who are on the frontline of fighting this Pandemic, which has no respect for age, gender or status. Our political leaders are only looking at the tripartite elections of August, 2021. The Brettonwoods institutions are warning that world economies will take a severe battering as a result of COVID-19 and that countries like Zambia, whose economies were fragile even before the pandemic arrived, will suffer the most. Now, our Members of Parliament and staff are testing positive for the virus and even dying from it. Lives Matter and Parliament should immediately adjourn to minimise further infections and deaths. This is the only responsible decision available at present,” stated Mwaanga.