- Mr Hichilema, who used unpalatable and derogatory language during his whole address, also directed the people in the area not listen to alleged lies by the Patriotic Front and every time they hear someone mentioning “Pabwato” they should respond “Pabwato Panyoko.”
UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema has drawn the battle lines for the country’s presidential elections next year – that he would use every weapon in his arsenal, including insults, to win.
But is the nation going to be subjected to vulgar and divisive language in the run up to the 2021 elections. There must be a stop to this.
We feel Mr Hichilema crossed the mark when he unleashed insults at President Edgar Lungu and his late mother by using Ila derogatory words.
The UPND leader was addressing a public meeting in Pemba and his supporters cheered him on with every insult he uttered.
Mr Hichilema, who used unpalatable and derogatory language during his whole address, also directed the people in the area not listen to alleged lies by the Patriotic Front and every time they hear someone mentioning “Pabwato” they should respond “Pabwato Panyoko.”
His language was that of a person full of hate especially against President Lungu whom he claimed had Police lock him up in a filthy cell
No Zambian would accept to have his or her mother insulted, especially when they are dead. But that is what Mr Hichilema did in Pemba, oblivious of the hurt he was inflicting not only on the intended target and his family, but the larger society.
This is not the first time that Mr Hichilema has used vulgar language in public. Remember that during the Lukashya by-election campaign in Kasama, he used vulgar terms to describe his political opponents.
To date, Mr Hichilema has not apologised for the insults. The UPND claimed he used the words figuratively.
But how do you use words figuratively in a language that you are not fluent in and even when the owners explain how certain words are used especially among contemporaries and not in a formal setting?
Will Mr Hichilema this time round claim that he was not serious, that he was speaking figuratively – when he was advising his supporters to vote out the PF from government next year.
The Church has for example called on politicians to carry out issue-based campaigns without using derogatory language.
Inspector-General of Police Kakoma Kanganja on Friday urged all political players to conduct issue-based campaigns and desist from any form of violence.
But we wonder how this could be achieved when persons who aspire for the highest office in the land are the one’s encouraging insults.
What message is being sent to the foot soldiers for example – that it is okay to insult your political rivals?
Foul-mouthed language from political leaders is what ignites violence, and we shudder to think what some hotheads in the PF might resort to in an effort to defend President Lungu.
It is important though for all political leaders to remember that since they all claim to love Zambia and wish to serve, their conduct must be above board.
Their language – even in their backyards – must be to build the nation and not lead it to destruction.