By Nation Reporter
VERNON Mwaanga has reduced himself to a political cadre instead of playing the role of a statesman preaching peace and unity for having been one of the freedom fighters Zambians would have continued to cherish and respect, Harry Kalaba has said.
Mr Kalaba, who is Foreign Affairs minister, said Dr Mwaanga should have learnt how to retire quietly to maintain his status as one of the respected Zambian freedom fighters but that his active engagement in partisan politics had eroded his status as a career diplomat.
Reacting to claims by Dr Mwaanga that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) had lost the confidence of Zambians for deciding to print ballot papers for the August general elections in Dubai, Mr Kalaba said it was regrettable that the veteran politician had chosen to allegedly play the role of a cadre for the UPND.
He said in an interview that Dr Mwaanga should have emulated his peer, Sikota Wina, whose political counsel on the current political environment was without bias and non-partisan.
He said Mr Wina had announced his retirement from active politics and had always remained non-partisan in his statements and that Zambians had a lot of respect for the veteran politician.
Mr Kalaba said Zambians were often eager to listen and tap into the wisdom of Mr Wina because his status as a freedom fighter and senior citizen had not been dented by political involvement.
Mr Kalaba explained that while Mr Wina was playing the role of a statesman, Dr Mwaanga had unfortunately chosen to play the role of a political cadre for an opposition political party. ‘‘It was the expectation of Government that he was going to emulate his peer Sikota Wina and retire quietly from active politics. Zambians are always eager to listen and tap from the wisdom of Mr Wina because his counsel has always been non-partisan and unbiased,” Mr Kalaba said.
Mr Kalaba stated that Dr Mwaanga had developed the audacity and propensity of making statements that had the potential of making the country ungovernable.
He said it was disheartening that Dr Mwaanga had chosen to play a politically inflammatory role by his partisan statements that clearly showed that he was sympathising with an opposition political party.
Mr Kalaba said Dr Mwaanga should consider taming his political emotions and avoid the temptation of making Zambia ungovernable on the basis of his political interests.