Politicians in Zambia should learn to exercise restraint by engaging in dialogue rather than violence when they differ because the country is bigger than any individual political party, veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga has observed.
Dr. Mwaanga told the Daily Nation that acts of violence during by-elections were uncalled for as they were not only a drawback to the country’s democratic image in the region, but were also a recipe for anarchy among the citizenry.
He explained that bickering and name-calling among political players did not give a good impression to up-coming politicians.
“Dialogue is vital in any democratic society and that is why there is need for political parties to realise that Zambia is bigger than any of them and the interest of Zambians should come first in everything that they do rather than just focussing on a particular party,” Dr. Mwaanga said.
He said there was need for Government to initiate dialogue with other political parties so that perceived differences could be ironed out and solutions to challenges that faced the country found.
“There is need for Government to initiate dialogue in order to relieve tension in the country on a number of issues that border on national interest and opposition political parties should put aside their personal interest and differences when such meetings are called because that is the only way that they can inspire their followers. who should seek the leaders engaging in dialogue and not fighting,” Dr Mwaanga said.
He said the One Zambia One Nation motto would be meaningless if politicians failed to embrace each other even when they had differences in the way freedom fighters worked together despite their differences.
Dr Mwaanga said there was need to bring sanity to politics in Zambia and dialogue was key.
“As freedom fighters, we worked together because we realised that it was only teamwork that would grant us victory against our colonial masters. We put our differences aside and worked for a common good because we wanted to achieve a common goal and that is what made the fight worthwhile,” he said.