Government silence over pressing national matters is a cause for concern, because it has led to idle speculation which has in turn given room for manipulation and disinformation.
There is no reason why Government is failing to explain the deportation of two South Africans in circumstances that point to very high level corruption. If there was corruption involved Government should come out in the open and admit this fact.
We are also appalled to learn that the same Immigration Department has also deported a British national of Ghanaian origin working with FQM in similar circumstances – all because he differed with union officials.
In this case again, the individual was frog marched to his house to pack and then driven to the airport.
This is wrong.
Apart from being inhuman we are violating basic tenets of international law which deals with international trade and those who undertake it. A Government should not conduct its business in a manner that borders on illegality and recklessness.
There are other issues where the Government must explain itself, among them the VAT refund confusion. Our understanding is that the proposed amendments to Rule 18 has yet to be effected, but somehow information circulating suggests that the rule was actually amended and that President Michael Sata stopped its implementation.
What is the truth?
Our concern is that the continued silence by the Government lends credence to the interpretation of events rendered by those who may have an interest to serve in showing the incompetence and inability of the Government.
There are many Zambians of goodwill who may not agree with the policies of the Patriotic Front but who feel that criticism of the Government should not be sectarian and overly destructive to a point where tribal schism and division seem to be the intent.
We agree with UPND President Hakainde Hichilema when he demands an explanation for the deportations which indicate that financial consideration played a role. He is questioning the function of a Government department and not the “tribal clique”.
This is the type of intellectual discourse that must be encouraged in this country. Specific Government failure must be pointed out to seek remedy rather that make wholesale condemnation.
It is not a secret that a section of the media is determined to put down the Government regardless, therefore Government must be sensitive and respond accordingly tio ensure that such efforts do not gain traction.
It must be realized than a multi-party democracy embraces diversity and differences of opinion; it does not give license to character-assassination on the basis of tribe or other extraneous considerations.