Mon, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000
By BENNIE MUNDANDO
IT is shocking that the UPND is trying to trivialise and downplay the importance of recognising the election of President Edgar Lungu without recourse to the fact that it was their adamancy that has created unnecessary tension in the country, Government Chief Whip Richard Musukwa has said.
He said it was wrong for UPND secretary-general Stephen Katuka to allege that the recognition of a duly elected president was not an issue because that was were peace and unity stemmed from.
Mr. Musukwa said it was disappointing that while international signatories and statesmen such as former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and the church were initiating reconciliation between the ruling PF and the UPND, the opposition was trivialising the same fundamentals that had created the problem.
He said he was taken aback by a statement from Mr. Katuka whom he described as one of the UPND high-ranking officials which he held in high esteem because it had the potential to put steps towards reconciliation in jeopardy.
“I am disappointed with Mr. Katuka whom I hold in very high esteem for his statement in which he is trivialising the need for his party to recognise the election of President Edgar Lungu. I take very strong exception to him trivialising the issue of recognition. His statement is highly misplaced and extremely irresponsible because we are in the current political malaise as a country because of the indiscipline which has been necessitated by the failure to recognise an elected and legitimate president.
“The Mongu road fiasco and the boycott at Parliament by the UPND are as a result of lack of recognition of the present. I think the statement is belittling the efforts of credible statesmen such as Gen. Obasanjo who has called for the opposition and the ruling party to bridge up the gap and promote unity to ensure that investment is centre-stage for Zambia,” Mr. Musukwa said.
He said Zambia had remained polarised since the 2016 election because of the antagonistic approach taken by the UPND whom he said had been living in denial ever since by refusing to accept the outcome of the election and failure to recognise that there was an elected leader and a Government in place.
“The issue of not recognising the legitimately elected President whether you have a petition or not is what is bringing anarchy and chaos. What has polarised our country after elections are these innuendos from the opposition and irresponsible behaviour that they will not accept and recognise the election of President Lungu as a being duly elected.
“Instead of fermenting division orchestrated by the opposition on the recognition of the President, everyone must recognise that we have a legitimately elected President and a Government in place because that is the starting point,” he said.
He said Parliament must never be used by politicians as a place for settling scores but an avenue for promoting national unity and peace.