WE AGREE with the advice of former Copperbelt Show Society chairman Bill Osborn that Zambian politicians should not play the role of spoilers in the governance of the country just to make the country ungovernable.
Politicians vie for power so that they manage the affairs of the country in the best manner they could so that all citizens benefit. It does not matter who is in charge; what matters right now is that all politicians focus on safeguarding the peace, security and unity of the country.
It is imperative that leaders work towards easing the tension in the nation by guarding against making statements that only serve to inflame emotions and heighten the political barometer which has been rising since the beginning of the election campaigns.
We therefore condemn in the strongest terms assertions by the opposition that there is a power vacuum in Zambia. It is a known fact that President Lungu is in charge of the country’s affairs and is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces until he hands over to the President-elect.
To suggest that the country is in auto pilot is the worst form of lack of patriotism.
Says Mr Osborn: ‘‘Any politician who aspires to lead Zambia one day or the other, he or she should not be a spoiler. He or she should not get involved in activities that are destructive, but should find ways of contributing positively so that he or she can win the confidence of the people, especially if he is in the opposition.’’
These are words of a man without political inclinations. His advice is not polluted by partisanship but the desire to see a stable, united and economically advanced Zambia.
Politicians may differ over policy and their manifestos but when it comes to matters that hinge on the sovereignty and security of their country, they close ranks and temporarily shelve whatever separates them and stand together to defend the honour and unity of their mother land.
There is no better time to do that than now. After the fractious general election whose presidential result is being challenged in the courts of law, ordinary Zambians have maintained their cool and are patiently waiting for the outcome.
Apart from the few skirmishes in some parts of the country which have been roundly condemned, Zambians have stood firm against those who want to divide them along ethnic, regional or tribal lines. They have steadfastly ignored provocations that sought to ignite base emotions that only promoted national disunity.
This is a fine example which our politicians must emulate. Zambians want peace, stability and development. They want this political stalemate to end so that they can back to the business of developing their country in whatever they do for a living. They want the pledged investments to start flowing, businesses to open and the economy to surge forward once again.
This is only possible when there is a Government – a sworn in President, Cabinet and Parliament – in place. This is why they turned out in record numbers to vote. It was to elect a Government of their choice.
This stalemate is not what they expected. As Mr Osborn says the country needs to settle down so that investments start flowing freely.
‘‘Zambia’s economic potential has not gone away, but is waiting to rise up again once the country’s political climate stabilizes. This uncertainty creates problems for big and small businesses and individuals,’’ he said.