OPPOSITION political parties dwelling on trivial things such as the dressing of the Head of State President Edgar Lungu and his physical appearance are wasting their effort, the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has charged.
Zambians, would judge them not on how best they insulted the Head of State but on the interpretation of their ideologies.
FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi said it was deeply worrying that the opposition political parties had narrowed the political debate in the country to the physical appearance and dressing of President Lungu when there were a lot of issues that were happening.
Mr Chipenzi said scandalizing President Lungu was not going to win the opposition votes in 2016 because Zambians were more interested in issues that directly affected their lives.
Mr Chipenzi said it was sad that the country’s political debate had deteriorated from attacking policies and ideologies to trivializing the presidency at the expense of real issues which were affecting the governance and economic performance of the country.
He told the Daily Nation that the opposition political parties and other interest groups were doing the country a disservice by perpetually attacking and maligning the persona of President Lungu.
“We are getting deeply concerned with the political debate in our country which has deteriorated from attacking policies and ideologies to attacking the persona of President Lungu. We are shocked that the opposition political parties are now discussing how President Lungu looks and how he is dressing. These are not the things want to hear from political leaders and let me tell them that Zambians will not vote for them on account of how vile their insults have become. Let them concentrate on attacking the policies and ideologies of the Patriotic Front (PF) and not dwelling on trivialities such as how the President is dressing and he is looking,” Mr Chipenzi said.
He said personal attacks of President Lungu were nothing but a recipe for violence and political conflicts rather order and peace in the country.
He cautioned that Zambians were listening to the trivialities and insults targeted at the Head of State that politicians should know that they were not going to be voted for on account of how vile their insults against a serving President could be.
Mr Chipenzi said the opposition political parties should concentrate on attacking the policies and ideologies of the ruling party and that they should always refrain from becoming personal against President Lungu.
Mr Chipenzi advised that opposition political parties should have shadow cabinets as government in waiting if they were to provide effective checks and balances to the governing party.
“It is our expectation that the opposition political parties should have shadow cabinets so that when the Minister of Energy in says the Zesco load shedding is as a result of low water levels, the minister of a shadow cabinet be able to counter that with clear policy argument,” Mr Chipenzi said.