ZAMBIAN politicians should emulate British political leaders who graciously accept defeat and resign from their positions to avoid a culture of being perpetual and serial losers in electoral contests, says civil rights activist Brebner Changala.
Mr Changala said Zambian politicians had developed a culture of becoming veteran presidential contenders participating in every presidential election even after being rejected by the electorate.
Mr Changala told the Daily Nation that it was politically and morally unacceptable that political leaders who had been rejected by the voters in the January presidential election were already positioning themselves to contest the general elections next year.
He said some political leaders who had become serial losers in electoral contests and had not even subjected themselves to party elections to have the mandate to represent their various political parties in elections.
Mr Changala wondered why some political party leaders had been rejected by Zambians for the last six years as if such political parties did not have a pool of vibrant members who could assume leadership roles.
He said some political parties were fatigued with the same leaders who had been failing them and that Britain had provided a perfect example of democracy after the opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband resigned.
Mr Changala said in a democracy, there was need for political leaders to humbly and graciously accept defeat in an electoral contest while those who emerge victorious should learn to embrace the defeated.
“There is one important lesson our political leaders must learn from the British elections. When one loses an election as head of a political party, it is important to accept responsibility for the loss. What is most important however is as a defeated party leader; one must resign so that the party can have fresh elected leadership. Do not lose an election and still hang on to the leadership of the party without seeking fresh mandate from the party members. It this country, we have developed a culture where presidents of political parties aspire to continue participating in elections even after they have been rejected by the people and they do so without subjecting themselves to intra-party democracy,” Mr Changala said.
He said it was important for opposition political party leaders to allow the emergence of a new crop of leadership that could steer their parties to better future.
He said there was no good leader without a successor and that political parties were failing to survive because their existence was anchored on personalities.