By Nation Reporter
VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga was diplomatically wrong to have insinuated that the February, 2016 Ugandan general elections were manipulated in favour of President Yoweri Museveni by Alghurari Printing and Publishing House, a Dubai-based company, Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has maintained.
Mr Kalaba said Dr Mwaanga should be more responsible over his freedom of expression which he said should not be allowed to crowd people’s judgement and impinge on the respect of the sovereignty of other nations.
He said the Zambian Government had continued to uphold people’s freedom of speech and individuals’ rights to self-expression, but that Dr Mwaanga, as a seasoned diplomat, he should refrain from issuing statements that bordered on Zambia’s relations with other countries.
“As a seasoned diplomat, Dr. Mwaanga knows that this country can derive the utmost benefits while retaining national dignity from both his experience and his measured indulgence in public discourse.
“But at the centre of that freedom should be responsibility, self-restraint and patriotism. Freedom of expression cannot and should not be allowed to crowd our judgement and impinge on our collective responsibility to respect the sovereignty of other nations,” he said.
Mr Kalaba was reacting to Dr Mwaanga’s statement in which he branded him childish for publicly censuring the former Foreign Affairs Minister over the Uganda February, 2016 general elections.
Mr Kalaba advised all political players to refrain from statements which bordered on Zambia’s relations with other countries.
“Dr. Mwaanga indicated that he was angry with me for the stance I took to censure his public statement concerning the purported printing of ballot papers in Dubai and implicating the sovereign State of Uganda. He has gone on to label my actions as being childish and immature.
“The focus of my advice to my elder brother was that given his stature in our country, he ought to censor his opinions that may easily be interpreted as reflecting the position of the country,” Mr Kalaba said.
Mr Kalaba said Dr Mwaanga’s experience in the international affairs ought to have equipped him with all the necessary knowledge required to understand issues which bordered on national sovereignty.
Mr Kalaba said among his expectation from Dr Mwaanga was to maintain the confidence and trust of the people of the world and create international relationships that focused on the growth and peace of the nation.
Mr Kalaba said as a top diplomat, Dr Mwaanga must desist from unsupported insinuations that meddled in the affairs of other nations which were also not based on factual information but rather on unproven blogs and media sources.