POLITICAL leaders must emulate the example of former President Rupiah Banda who in 2011 unified the nation by asking political cadres to accept the outcome of the election in which he was defeated, a clergyman has said.
Pastor Samson Phiri of Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church said Zambians should look up to their leaders and it would be unfortunate for any of the 11 candidates not to show maturity after elections.
He said politicians needed to preach tolerance among all Zambians regardless of their divergent political views so that peaceful co-existence continued to prevail after the new President was ushered into office.
Pastor Phiri said Zambians should put the country first by realising that the peace and stability that the country had attained the past 50 years should not be endangered by any political difference.
The clergyman said Zambians should cherish the peace and democratic governance that the country had enjoyed by asking for God’s intervention in all their undertakings.
Pastor Phiri said all political parties put in their best in the campaigns and that now that the election was over they should counsel their followers with messages of hope for the future despite losing or winning the election.
“There is no individual that is greater than Zambia and it is incumbent upon every Zambian to love and maintain peace at all times. Both political leaders and the church should ensure that unity is promoted as this election was different from any other election that Zambia has ever held.
“There was a lot of tribalism in the political campaigns. There was a line that was drawn and this should not be encouraged. Zambia is one and no one is greater than Zambia. We need to pray that this must not continue, we know that the majority of Zambians are resolved to uphold and defend the values of democracy,” he said.
Pastor Phiri said the church should not allow evil forces to disturb the unity that Zambians had enjoyed the past 50 years.
He said there was need for the country’s unitary state to be demonstrated and that all candidates should heed the advice of the church.
Pastor Phiri said nation-building was important as it would demonstrate to the world that Zambia was indeed a true beacon of peace and that any behaviour that had the potential to undermine the country’s stability should be put to shame.