President Edgar Lungu once again showed enhanced leadership qualities when he signed the Peace Accord at the behest of the Electoral Commission of Zambia on Friday in order to avoid further pre-election violence.
UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema on the other hand lamentably failed the leadership test when he “contemptuously with scorn, dismissed the ECZ initiative and showed Zambians more clearly, for the first time perhaps, that he lacks a leadership temperament.”
We say this because the initiative of the ECZ was meant to be in more ways than one, a peace contract that would bind the signatories to a peaceful process as our democracy continues to grow.
the amount of scorn and the level of disrespect for the ECZ is very scary and could mean one or two things—either Mr Hichilema is consumed with his own self-importance that he does not see any reason to respect authority or he has decided to continue on a violent that his party has been associated with since the days of the infamous Mapatizya formula.
How else can one explain his deep rooted distaste for peace when the gauntlet was thrown squarely in his face?
That is why we have been cautioning the Zambian electorate that as we approach the crucial Election Day on 11th August, they must choose a tested and humble leadership that has shown that it can also respect authority.
President Lungu is currently the legally elected Head of State, he could have come up with one reason or another to stay away from the ECZ event that came when he actually had a pre-planned programme for the tour of Northern Province.
But because he is a sound lawyer, a sworn leader of the nation, he humbly obliged once again and postponed his trip, setting aside other equally important national tasks and showed commitment to peace by signing the ECZ paper.
We are convinced therefore that Mr Hichilema cherishes violence—not only because of some colourfully violent people in his senior ranks—but because he refused to rise to the occasion and show true commitment to peace via a signature.
The other issue that immediately comes to our minds is that Mr Hichilema, who for all purposes and intent appears to have conceded defeat ahead of the August polls, is in his usual arrogant and contemptuous refusal to sign the peace accord simply ‘Grand-Standing.’
Mr Hichilema will use every opportunity to steal the lime-light starting from prancing around because his cadre is dead of simply insulting the police whom he thinks are morons.
Let us also urge security personnel in Zambia to deny Mr Hichilema and his people a vote on August 11 because after all, “he reckons the police in Zambia is made up of morons.”
Today Mr Hichilema has called the police, “morons” tomorrow he will call the Zambia Airforce (ZAF) morons and the day it will be the army, the Zambia National Service and indeed anyone that does not march up to his self-proclaimed superior intellect.
If he asked for any advice from us, we would tell him one thing: “apologise to the police for calling them morons. These are family people who put in lots of hours to protect the peace we cherish and you can only demoralise them by calling them morons in the face of duty.”
It is this kind of behaviour that exposes Mr Hichilema for whom he really is, a person that embraces violence and respects no one else but himself.
It is also a time like this that we wonder where the vocal NGOCC, Women’s Lobby group and the LAZ are when they are needed the most.
“Why haven’t the NGOCC, LAZ and Women’sLobby remained silent in the face of Hichilema refusing to commit to a peaceful electoral process?”
Mr Hichilema effectively “endorsed violence when he refused to sign a peace accord. Zambians must be wary of a leader that refuses to commit to peace and the UPND leader is one such man.”
President Lungu must once again be commended for walking the walk and talking the talk as far as wanting to have a peaceful election.
President Lungu has continued to show a deep resilience and focus as a tested leader and that is why we keep re-affirming that he needs to win the election so that he can continue leading the nation on a path of peace. Mr Hichilema has pathetically failed as an aspiring leader.
SIGNED: Hon. Given Lubinda, Minister of Agriculture, and Aspiring Parliamentary Candidate for Kabwata Constituency