UNITED National Independence Party (UNIP) president Tilyenji Kaunda says Zambians should not be quick to judge the Patriotic Front (PF) for the scandals which have rocked their administrations because we all have something in our “individual drawers”.
And Kaunda says it is not the first time Zambia is experiencing extra judicial killings and heightened political violence, adding that only dialogue can bring a stop to this.
In an interview, Tuesday, Kaunda said as a Christian nation, Zambians should practice Christian values and resist the temptation of being judgmental towards the ruling PF.
“Yes, I know they [PF] have made scandals but I will say this, you know we are a Christian nation right, in terms of our declaration of our preamble of the constitution. And if we are a Christian nation, we must practice Christian values. And for me, the issue is that if we examine our individual drawers, you find that no one is perfect so everybody deserves a chance. Remember the story about the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery, and Jesus said let one among you without sin throw the first stone on her,” Kaunda said.
“This is the philosophy in our party that when you point a finger, the other fingers are also pointing at you. That’s why our approach is not to accuse but advise. Our understanding is that this kind of democracy we borrowed from the west, its defective and it does not fit in our culture nor has it fit in anywhere is Africa. Something is wrong. We need to have a democracy where we ad the Zambia characteristics. So, if there is change [of government], what will that change deliver to Zambians. So, we in the UNIP are saying let’s have a discussion bring the much-needed unity instead of finger pointing and causing more division, lets put aside what has happened and look at what’s the way forward. We want the killing to stop, we want the violence to stop. There has been some tolerance to this violence which has been prevailing now for many, many years.”
And Kaunda said there was need for dialogue before the August 11 elections.
“So, we don’t need people to gain political mileage from this and say it’s the worst violence. We have seen this kind of violence before in the political circles. Beginning with just when we won independence, 1964, there was a lot of violence between ANC and UNIP. There were killings, petrol bombing and so on. It only stopped at Choma declaration when UNIP and ANC agreed to form a government unity which was known as one party state of democracy. That’s when the killings stopped, the violence stopped. And then just when we became a multi-party state again, the violence began especially in 1992, 1993. There was also economic violence in 1994 when many parastatals were privatised. It’s not different to the current scenario except the insults have increased, there were less insults then especially aimed at elderly individuals. And these insults have nothing to do with the politics that someone engages in,” said Kaunda.
“Our main concern is that this should not continue, we should be willing to come to the table and talk about it. So, we can’t just be riding on this bus of killings, violence and insults and expect to cross over the bridge in August just like that. No! We need to do something about it and people should not gain political mileage from all this. There should be no winners from this, and no losers, we need to deal with it in a mature manner. Basically, we are concerned with the state of our politics now. We are also concerned about the independence of parliament. We would like politicians to serve the people first rather than their own political parties. And we urge Zambians to join hands in the fight for a better Zambia. Now is not the time for divisions.”