THERE is nothing wrong for United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema to cite “a heavy focus on the mining sector and continual fiddling of regulation” as not only damaging government’s relationship with companies, but also seeing other sectors neglected, UPND Vice president for politics Canisius Banda has said.
But MMD president Nevers Mumba has urged Zambians to protect the country’s image when they were abroad.
Dr Banda said there was nothing wrong with Mr. Hichilema’s statement at the global investment in Africa summit in London.
He said Mr. Hichilema only lamented the alleged human rights abuses that have bedevilled the country under the Patriotic Front (PF) government.
“He is free to express himself and speak wherever he goes, so he went to a summit in London and conducted himself as any human being should, in a manner in keeping with his freedom,” Dr. Banda said.
He said Mr. Hichilema did not insult anyone for him to be crucified in the media by some individuals.
Dr. Banda said the UPND leader only spoke the truth on what was happening in the country as he only spoke his mind.
He said Mr. Hicilema should be commended by all well-meaning Zambians for his contribution at the London summit.
But Dr Mumba said “international diplomacy and political maturity always dictates that when you are abroad, any politicians should ensure you speak well of your country and never denigrate it even if you know that things may not be going well”.
“The same principle is what we all follow even in our families. We can call each other names and even fight, but we rise up to fight an outsider who calls us the same things that we call ourselves,” Dr. Mumba said.
Dr. Mumba urged Zambian politicians to emulate opposition leaders of such parties as the Republican Party of the United States and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the Labour Party of the UK on how they protect their country when they were abroad.
“These parties may have viciously fought each other internally but never voice their differences outside the country. They keep their fights internal and show solidarity outside the country,”
“You can never hear them speak ill of their country or Presidents. Let us all mature and keep flying the Zambian flag and stand proud and free,” he said.