Opinion

PEACE MUST PREVAIL

A PEACEFUL election process is an inherent value in any democratic formation which all political players must espouse.
The election process can only be peaceful and fair if political stakeholders are civil in their discourse and other undertakings with due respect for opponents and other players in a contest.
Zambia has always been a peaceful nation, which has transitioned through six Heads of State – a rare feat in Sub-Saharan Africa and other jurisdictions.
It is hoped, therefore, that Zambia will maintain this record from now, through the campaign period to 2021 general elections and beyond.
In this vein, Inspector General Kakoma Kanganja has declared that his men and women in uniform will maintain peace before and after next year’s general elections.
His declaration could not have come at a better time than now, considering that political parties and leaders have been preparing to get into the campaign for next year’s polls.
This message is important, too, because this country has witnessed pockets of violence during by-elections whereby cadres have clashed with some being severely injured or even killed.
A peek into the recently-held election in the United States (US) shows that indeed Democrats and Republicans and a larger populace were tensed up, but they never resorted to violence.
Yes, they voted, gathered and waited for the Presidential election results from Tuesday last week up to Saturday, without an ounce of violence.
Although ideologies, cultural values and other factors are starkly different, the unfolding events in the US can be used as an appropriate metric of a peaceful and fair election process which Zambia can emulate.
In fact, US President-elect Joe Biden stated after amassing the required statistic that the issues surrounding the largest economy are not about Democrats or Republicans but they are about American citizens.
Simply put, Mr Biden was alluding to the fact that it was not about winning or losing an election, but that the democratic process was about advancing the interest of all Americans.
By the same token, political players in Zambia should adorn themselves with better political lenses so that they do not look at any election as a “do or die” but as a normal democratic process of ushering in a leadership for selfless service.
Secondly, political opponents should not view one another as enemies, but as partners in democracy and in political service.
To sum it all, it is up to political players from both sides of the political divide to rid this country of political violence and focus on delivery service to Zambians.
Even if political dialogue has been a far cry in this country, violence can still be eliminated through commitment in all political parties.
Thus internal political introspection must be done instead of overburdening law enforcement officers with the task of quenching violence perpetrated through rampaging youths.
Democracy in Zambia must start growing now!
Zambia must sustain the record of being the oasis of peace and this assignment lies squarely on the shoulders of all politicians.
Politicians, therefore, must not at any one time embark on shredding their rivals’ personalities, but they ought to focus on discussing national issues and development process.
Peace must prevail!

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