Voice of America, English to Africa Division Managing Editor and Host of “Straight Talk Africa” Shaka Ssali has hailed Zambia’s democratic credentials on the African continent.
In a statement released to the media by Cosmas Chileshe, the First Secretary (Press and Public Relations) at Embassy of the Republic of Zambia, Dr. Ssali says this spans from the time first founding President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda conceded defeat in 1991 to allow former late President Dr. Fredrick Chiluba to become the second President of Zambia.
He has also thanked former President Rupiah Banda for being magnanimous by conceding electoral defeat with grace to the ruling Patriotic Front in which former late President Michael Sata emerged victorious.
The veteran broadcaster has since urged politicians to learn from the two leaders by conceding defeat during elections in order to enrich Zambia’s democratic culture.
Dr. Ssali says he has learned from his interaction with prominent Heads of States in Africa that politicians should learn to respect the will of the people in order to enrich tenets of democracy on the continent.
“I am eminent and qualified to give this type of advice; my job is really to be an observer and through observation, I can only sometimes make suggestions especially if those views reflect the concerns of the people that happen to be part of my audience.
“In the past, I have played a significant role in reconciling two prominent Ghanaian presidents, one former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings and John Kufuor who succeeded him. These two could not get along because of enormous egos. But humility is a key attribute that our leaders should embrace,” he said.
Dr. Ssali said this when he paid a courtesy call at the Embassy of Zambia in Washington D.C. following his scheduled visit to Zambia from August 21st to 27th, 2017.
During the visit, Dr. Ssali is expected to conduct series of interviews with Republican President Edgar Lungu, Dr. Kaunda, Mr. Banda and hold a town hall meeting at the University of Zambia with students and civil society movements in the country.