POLITICAL leaders have been urged to accept the outcome of the Constitutional Court judgment in a matter where the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba have petitioned the re-election of President Edgar Lungu in the August general elections.
House of Chiefs Chairperson Chief Ntambu said there was need for political leaders to fully recognise and accept the authority of national institutions such as courts and accept their decisions.
And Chief Ntambu has condemned the violence that was perpetrated following the August 11 general elections.
He said political leaders must exhibit acceptable behaviour in victory or defeat and that the rule of law and the republican Constitution must be respected.
The traditional leader was speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday.
“Politicians must accept the decisions of the Constitutional Court and to encourage their members respectively, to do likewise and further remind them that human life is of paramount importance and far greater than any political race.
“We demand acceptable behaviour in victory or defeat. The winning part has a responsibility to be inclusive and protect the interest of the large minority that voted for the other side,” Chief Ntambu said.
He stated that the wanton attacks on innocent members of the public based on their tribal or regional lines were unacceptable.
Chief Ntambu urged political leaders to step up their efforts in ending violence so as to maintain peace and order in the country after the petitions were resolved.
He said the leaders had a duty to tame their cadres and issue responsible statements after the petitions were resolved.
“Political leaders have a pivotal role in maintain peace. Wrong doing by party cadres must not be protected and all forms of indiscipline must not be tolerated from within the ranks of political parties.
“All political party leaders should exercise leadership and condemn all aspects of violence. We remind political party leaders that it is the women and children who are disproportionately affected by violence,” he said.
Chief Ntambu also appealed to the media to be responsible and promote peace and unity in their reporting.
“The singling out of any particular ethnic group as a source of political violence is unacceptable. We urge them to stop going against the principles of multi-partyism,” he said.
He further called on Zambians to remain united and peaceful after the outcome of the election petitions.
Chief Ntambu noted that despite regional boundaries, Zambians were one people.
“We, Chiefs, as the fathers and mothers of this nation, we wish to lead Zambia in remembering that we are one people. The need to protect the ‘One Zambia, One nation’ motto can never been overemphasised,” he said.