You’re opponents, not enemies, politicians told

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 12:39:47 +0000

POLITICAL parties must exercise tolerance as it is necessary for national healing and building, says Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director Chimfwembe Mweenge. He said FODEP joined in the observance of the International Day for Tolerance that falls every November 16, and was calling on political parties to exercise tolerance for national healing and building purposes.

Mr Mweenge said  Zambia appeared to be going through  serious political division resulting in animosity and antagonism between the political parties. It was unfortunate he heard that rival party leaders considered themselves enemies instead of treating each other as political opponents and accepting that there was chance for anyone of them in the future.

“FODEP calls on all political parties to focus on tolerance, to nourish and push for tolerance because it can alleviate the bulk of these issues, bearing in mind that a democratic society is always populated by people with different political views who must live in peace, mutual understanding, cooperation and tolerance for a long period of time,” he said.

Mr Mweenge said political parties should reach out to each other and open doors for dialogue to promote peace and unity in the country. He reminded politicians that they were in politics to provide a service and not to champion other agendas, adding that this was why the opposition and the party in government should work together if the country was to see meaningful development in all sectors. The UN General Assembly in 1996, by resolution 51/95, invited UN member states to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November as outlined in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and follow-up plan of action.

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