THE true character of statesmanship is shown in times of intense pressure and the remaining few days before the poll day provides that litmus test.
As the day is fast approaching, we are likely to witness the worst kind of politics ever especially from those who have no slightest understanding of the task ahead of them.
The keen followers of political events must have already noted this from the conduct and disposition of some politicians.
Characteristic of such elements has been the lack of political principles and disregard for other participants in this contest.
The United Party for National Development (UPND) presidential running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s continued use of vile language against perceived opponents is yet again a source of grave concern to the right-thinking persons – the electorate.
This time round he has widened his horizon on which to spew such invectives to include the largest constituency, the Church. The men of God have fallen victim to his venomous vulgarities – alleging that the clergy who gathered for the National Day of Prayer are agents of the devil.
This is serious! Does Mr Mwamba think prior to making such an unsubstantiated statement? Is this the reason they never wanted to be part of the National Day of Prayer? Does Mr Mwamba imply the people from whom he is seeking votes are agents of the devil? What could be the ramifications of such careless statement on the largest opposition political party?
It is crystal clear that Mr Mwamba does not associate thought to his speech, and this is dangerous for our country, particularly that he is seeking the highest office in the land.
Going by this conduct, we are convinced that Mr Mwamba lacks the basic understanding of the constitutional provisions which introduced the presidential running mate clause. Mr Mwamba must be told that he is part of the UPND presidency by virtue of being a running mate to the UPND leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema.
That is why we say he is seeking the highest office in next Thursday’s elections. As such, he must carry the aura that befits the office of presidency, and not buffoonery.
We have severally posed this question: Does Mr Mwamba have what it takes to be Head of State?
In our view, he has not shown that he is equal to the task. The reasons are just too numerous to chronicle in this limited space. We would probably need to carry a special publication stating such reasons.
In the famous catalogue of the seven social evils to society espoused by Mahatma Ghandi, two squarely apply to the UPND and its top leadership: ‘politics without principle’ and ‘education without character.’
For the UPND top leadership to have lamentably failed to tame their unpalatable and threatening language towards their political opponents proves our assertion of a clear case of practising ‘politics without principle.’
Mr Mwamba is incorrigible. He has demonstrated that he cannot change, that is his persona. And there is very little that can be done to such a character.
If Mr Mwamba’s fair level of education, as proclaimed, has not changed his character, we do not think a high political position can. Could it be a classic example of ‘education without character’ being evil?
Politicians ought to bear this in mind that aspiring for any political office entails inspiring the electorate and upcoming leaders through their general conduct and candour.
Showing blatant disrespect for others, use of foul language, issuing threats of Armageddon, chaos, violence and painting the clergy in black, is not inspirational leadership. It is failed leadership.