The corrupt by- elections have now claimed nine more lives bringing the total of those killed in their wake to 12 thus far. All these lives have been lost on account of the insatiable quest by the Patriotic Front to increase numbers in the House.
This is an unconscionable waste which all well meaning people must condemn.
How many more lives are we going to lose by the time we are through with the 66 by- elections that the PF has petitioned in the High Court?
Indeed apart from the loss of precious lives how much more will be wasted in public resources now being extorted from the poor commuters who have to pay more for bus fare because the Government has increased the price of fuel so as to fund the unnecessary by-elections.
It is gratifying that the Vice President Dr. Guy Scott in his usual candid manner admitted that the PF needs numbers in the House in order to pass legislation. This is the main reason why we are having by-elections to achieve numbers.
This may be politically correct but is certainly morally wrong.
The opposition would not have been such mortal enemies if the ruling party chose to work for the greater good of society rather than champion a unilateral agenda.
Political coalitions are the norm the world over. There is no reason why the PF has failed to seek the support and cooperation of any of the parties for an alliance that will promote rather than weaken the minority mandate it received in the last election, where more people voted against rather than for the PF.
There is no doubt that the PF has some progressive ideas which will gain universal support right across the political divide, there is therefore no need for the seemingly intractable schism that has militated against reaching for dialogue across the floor. Indeed the opposition will not oppose for the sake of opposing but for very cogent reasons and where they act unreasonably, the court of public opinion will not spare them.
We have said before and will say it again that a moratorium to by-elections must be declared. This is possible because cases before courts of law can be withdrawn and those wishing to resign from the opposition parties can be allowed to remain in Government.
However the starting point should be willingness to dialogue and reach consensus and compromise for the sake of the country.
The ongoing by-election will have the effect of deepening division and conflict and worse continued loss of life. This is unnecessary and uncalled for.
The Government has no choice but explain the Trafigura deal to the Zambian people.
According to information and calculations availed to us the US$500million paid for petrol and diesel was too high.
The Government purchased 216 million liters of petrol and 21 million liters of diesel from Trafigura at US$500million, but experts have suggested that the total value of the stock was under US$200million.
It is therefore important that some light is shed on the matter. It could very well be that the expert calculation is wrong.
Silence will however not serve the best interest of the nation, especially that the Government has recently increased the price of petroleum products.