Politicians should learn to concede defeat to enrich democratic culture-Shaka Ssali

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Shaka Ssali
Shaka Ssali

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.

Shaka’s courtesy call at the Zambian Embassy in the US

57 COMMENTS

    • +4
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      What do we have here – another blockhead? The subject matter of concern in Africa is the rigging of elections. That is the egg that is producing the chicken. Simply don’t lay the egg, it will not hatch. As long as you keep on laying the eggs, they will keep on hatching. Elections must be clean and fair. They never are. Rigging is the story, conceding defeat is simply its by-product.

    • +6
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      Shaka is forgetting that this is African politics.
      In Africa politicians bribe voters:
      By dishing out large sums of money and buying voters cards.
      Buy intimidating polical supporters and opponents through voilence.
      By manipulation of actual votes casted.
      By blocking opposition from holding free rallies.
      By imtimidating all People with opposing views with imprisonment.
      By killing opponents through fake road accidents.
      The list goes on.
      How then can the opposition concede defeat?
      This is Africa nothing works the way you perceive democracy to work elsewhere !

    • +3
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      Dr. Stupid, the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton are still fighting Russia’s collusion in the last US elections. These fake African Drs. just want recognition for nothing. Why can’t you advise the Dems in America to accept the election results?

    • +3
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      What about politicians in control learning accept defeat when beaten? This would be more respectable.

    • +2
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      Mushota,

      since when does “looking healthy” have anything to do with being right, or being wrong about an issue?
      Are you a medical doctor now?

    • +1
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      Ssali you should be urging politicians especially those of the African continent to enhance efforts at respect for the rule of law and stop treating their constitutions as if they are printed on toilet paper! Dishonesty is still worshipped and the spirit of serving the people and country is seriously lacking in African leaders!

  1. +12
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    The credibility of the electoral process should be exhibit transparency and all democratic traits. Losing under such a system/process would be straight forward. Therefore, advocating for leaders to accept defeat instead of seeking to review the election process defies the object and is without doubt banal!

    • +5
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      When will an electoral process “exhibit transparency and all democratic traits”? Isn’t it traditional now for most losers to cry foul?

    • +2
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      @ abilima

      “exhibit transparency and all democratic traits”
      On the other hand, Isn’t it traditional now (LOL) for governing parties to hang to power using State resources (financial, human and assets) ?
      Unfortunately, democracy in Africa is still distant dream

    • +2
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      Kaz is absolutely and 100% right. It is not just a question of accepting and legalising theft to be seen to have accepted election results magnamously. The Politicians themselves should play by the laid down rules. e.g. G12 certificates should made available at all times and verified to correspond with the announced results.

  2. +4
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    Employee of GRZ (As it can bee seen in the background of the first photo) making positive comments about his pay-master cannot be taken as a authority on the issue.

    • +2
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      You are the real definition of shallow thinking and credulity that plagues the blosphere world and has given credibility to Fake news.

      Just an inscription of GRZ make you believe that Shaka is an employee of Government? Sad really for the two people that gave you a two votes up.

      Anybody who has listened to the Voice of America for the last 20 years or more knows who Shaka Ssali is . He is no Government employee.!!!

      At least read the story before you comment. It helps in hiding your inability to use your brain for thinking. Looks like you have just crawled out of a rock and been handed a keyboard to see if you can type and handed a 2 Ngwee for your effort.

    • +2
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      @ MMD Chef Bootlicker

      Did you listen to Voice of America? Do your self a big favor, instead of boot licking, spend that 2 ngwe (if you can afford) for a drop of polish

    • +3
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      Can an independent journalist confirm with Shaka whether he did utter this words. Because I doubt very much that he would flash the integrity he built over the decades down the drain by uttering such nonsense. Why would one dispute an election if it has been free and fare – access to the media, fare treatment by law enforcement agents, etc? Why would you lock up somebody for challenging election results, even if it is on your farm?

  3. +8
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    Very true! When the incumbent sees that numbers are against them, they should learn to concede defeat. Unfortunately, Mugabe and Museveni have corrupted governance systems in Africa by creating puppets who copy their bad example of abusing their incumbency to cling on to power at whatever costs. If ECL really won the last elections, why is he so desperate about trying to silence anyone who dares to question his legitimacy, let alone his obsession for recognition? Sad! Reforms are needed. The processes must be strengthened to enhance credibility. If anyone loses elections conducted in a credible manner, it becomes easy for the loser to accept defeat!

    • +5
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      Reforms just to please you?? Sata lost in 2006 & 2008 and strongly condemned the ECZ. In 2011 when it was clear he was winning, he was as quiet as a baby with a fresh daiper. When he was president, he didn’t reform ECZ and even if Odinga, hh got to power they would do nothing to reform these institutions. The problem is not the institutions but the unruly vulgar and strategiless opposition we have that is threatening democracy because their inability to play their role will only give advantage to ruling parties to dominate and we will be back to square one.

    • +2
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      Zambian Citizen – Quite interesting actually that MMD did not insult KK during campaigns though Chiluba later disrespected the old man. Unlike the current opposition.

    • +3
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      @ Zambian Citizen

      Did you understand posting of Painful truth @ 4? Definitely NOT. Please read again:
      “… Reforms are needed. The processes must be strengthened to enhance credibility. If anyone loses elections conducted in a credible manner, it becomes easy for the loser to accept defeat…”
      Wake-up and catch-up with the “juice” of DEMOCRACY

    • +1
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      @Free: And you don’t understand my point. To me ECZ is a credible institution, we said that in 1991 and 2011, why should it change just because one opposition guy lost elections in 2016?? Even 2001, Mazoka lost clean. Sata equally lost in 2006 and 2008. That rigging rhetoric by MMD is not true because in 2001, Mazoka only won in Southern, Western and part of N/Western (49 mps) while MMD scooped Central, C/Belt, Lusaka, Luapula and Nothern (62 mps). MMD knew that the opposition was weak in the rural areas and they concentrated there. Same with 2006, Sata only got Lusaka, C/Belt and Luapula and parts of Northern, the rest of the country excluding Southern was MMD. The ECZ just tallied the ballots as Zambians put it, the opposition have just been boisterous!!

    • +2
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      Interesting how the truth hurts to those that want us to say what they want to hear. To those saying ECZ is credible, can they educate us why those who conducted the 2016 elections are suddenly running away from ECZ even when no one is pursuing them? This is why the Common wealth has come in with the idea of reforms. You don’t reform something that is ok but something inadequate or defective!

  4. +6
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    vote

    KK had no choice but to vacate state house. He touched a Zambian’s nerve centre by starving her. That’s the only time a Zambian sheds off docility and transforms herself into a raging uncompromising maniac.

  5. +3
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    @painful Lies what type of people are you who can’t take advice you only won in three provinces and have only a handful of Parliamentarians. And you think the outside world don’t know you lost??Tell us what happened to ICC AND ICJ

  6. +3
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    SSALI IS RIGHT. AFRICAN LEADER SHOULD LEARN TO ACCEPT DEFEAT LIKE THE TWO ZMBIA’S PREVIOUS LEADERS HE HAS MEMTIONED. HE JUST FORGOT TO MENTION THE LATE MICHAEL SATA WHO ALSO CONCEEDED DEFEAT EVEN WHERE IT WAS OBVIOUS THE THE ELECTIONS WERE IN HIS AND PF’s FAVOUR. IN THE CASE OF ZAMBIA HH AND HIS UPND CORRUPTLY GOT THE MAJORITY OF VOTES FROM THE THREE CORRUPTED PRONVINCES WHILE PF ECL AND PF TOOK THE SEVEN PROVINCES OUT OF THE TEN ZAMBIA PROVINCIAL AREAS. THERE’S NO WAY (EVEN AN 1DIOT WOULD KNOW) THAT A PARTY WITH IT’S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WOULD WIN ELECTIONS FROM ONLY THE 3 PROVINCIAL AREAS ESPECIALLY AFETER DIRECTLY OR/AND INDIRECTLY DECLARING YOURSELVES AS A TRIBAL PARTY.

  7. +3
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    Says this law breaker #1… who’s going to tolerate or stop him from breaking the law and disturbing peace? Just because he’s a president (an illegitimate for that matter) should not give the licence to break the law with impunity.
    This scared, insecure president, all he does all the time is issuing threats, really shows how insecure he is (a sign of illegitimacy).

    And he’s a hypocrite too… he’s the one who ordered cops to hold the Chitimukulu hostage stopping him from ascending to the throne. Today he’s smiling with him.

    As for the Chitimukulu himself, he has really sold out. There was a time I thought this guy had integrity and a breathe of fresh air, man I was wrong. He’s just one of them, like the chief, like his many subjects (in runs in the DNA).

    • +1
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      Oops sorry wrong comment under wrong article (copy and paste error)… unable to delete comment 🙁

  8. +3
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    @ Mambwe

    Do you know ANYTHING about procedural regulations of either ICC or ICJ? It is sad that 1mbeciles on both side of political divide are to thick to educate themselves about ICC, ICJ, Rule of Law, Human Rights, Democracy…………………
    It is shameful that in the 21st Century and after more than 50 years of independence, notwithstanding almost endless natural resources, majority of Africans are still poor, hungry and uneducated.
    Instead of asking for accountability from your “RULER”, you are asking about what? ICC? ICJ?
    I can bet that you consider yourself as “educated” and member of “intelligentsia”. Do you?

  9. +3
    -3
    vote

    Its interesting indeed that when the opposition wins there is no problem with the rules of engagement but when they lose everything is wrong. Lets face it encumbancy is a huge advantage world over and its simply not enough to attempt to beat the encumbant by a split point decisison. It has to be clear enough for all to see and for the encumbant to conceed defeat. When Kaunda lost MMD did not change the rules which they had spoken so ill about. PF BEAT MMD under the same rules then they changed to PVT which is much better than the previous and yet the losers are still crying foul. Its strange that there is so little dispute over PF MP victories and they are in the majority in Parliament and yet the opposition belive they won the election. How do you win without constituences? First win…

    • +1
      -2
      vote

      You two, look at the bigger picture, not the miniature of chimpombwa bola! Didn’t Zambia complain when Diramba mishandled our game against Gabon? Instead of blaming the players for a poorly officiated match, the Referee is the one we need to hold accountable, in this case ECZ!

  10. +2
    -1
    vote

    …. the seats in parliament and then claim victory. Zambians vote along party lines in local government, parliamentary and presidential elections. Every president has gone to parliament with the highest number of MPs. I am not saying the majority but the highest number. I am aware that PF did not have the majority in parliament when Sata came in but he had the single highest number of MPs. Ofcourse put together the opposition MMD and UPND & others had more – but that is ‘put together’. Now who has the single largest number, even the majority? Even Sata didnt get so many PF MPs into that parliament! Why would we then believe now PF lost the presidency?

  11. +1
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    @ Free educate us about ICC and ICJ since you know everything typical UPND thinking. This is a democracy and it is my right to support PF just like it’s your right to worship HH if UPND had won then ecz would have been credible but because you were beaten hands down it is not credible. If you had an ounce of wisdom you would have known that HH can never beat ECL. He beat him even after campaigning for 30 days and your stoogie Guy Scott was acting President

    • +2
      -1
      vote

      Stop lying to your self lungu can never win a fair and free election without state sponsored violence …….

    • +1
      0
      vote

      1. I am NOT UPND;
      2. Your 1mbecility is clear indication of your support to Plunderers Federation;
      3. ICC can only prosecute crimes against humanity, and
      4. ICJ can only get involved if Sovereign State request action against another Sovereign State.

      1MBECILE, DID YOU UNDERSTAND the meaning?

  12. +1
    -1
    vote

    Trying to fix Edgar as a campaign made vote for Edgar. There was no substance in GBM “so campaign message. I attended some rallies and also listened to Radio Icengelo and all Mr Mwamba said is how they were going to send Edgar to jail, how Edgar had put on by eating beef from HH’s farm or mugayuwa from his milling company. Surprisingly people even went into a frenzy cheering him on.

    • +1
      0
      vote

      And CONVICTED EMBEZZLER. Stealing money from a widow, shameful and beyond contempt.
      And history has already be written.
      Christian nation ruled by Plunderers Federation and CONVICTED EMBEZZLER masquerading as president.
      Really something to be proud to bequest to future generations.

  13. +2
    0
    vote

    Dr. Stupid, the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton are still fighting Russia’s collusion in the last US elections. These fake African Drs. just want recognition for nothing. Why can’t you advise the Dems in America to accept the election results?

  14. flag [email protected]
    +4
    -1
    vote

    IN THE LAW OF NOT ACCEPTING ELECTION RESULTS THAT EXISTS IN AFRICA BY OPPOSITION PARTIES.
    THE HH OF KENYA, RAILA ODINGA, IS FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE ZAMBIAN
    1.HE HAS REJECTED THE ELECTION RESULTS
    2. SENT THUGS IN THE STREET- SO FAR SIX KILLED
    3. THEY HAVE STARTED BURNING GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS
    4. OTHER TRIBES ARE BEING TARGETED IN RAILA STRONGHOLDS– LIKE WHAT HAPPENED IN SOUTHERN PROVINCE.
    HAKAINDE AND RAILA ARE A DISGRACE TO THE AFRICA OF TODAY

    • +1
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      vote

      Has kenyata refused to let the Kenyan nation see the evidence NASA have of rigging like lungu did ??

  15. +1
    -1
    vote

    iggest challenge in Africa is that Presidents in power, always think that they are automatically entitled to a second term in office, thats why they will use any dirt trick in political books to achieve that, would you believe that in the 200 and something history of the USA out of 45 presidents only less than 12 or maybe 10 presidents have gone on to rule for a second, because incumbents always leave the stage when it’s time for them to go, unlike in Africa were the likes of mu7,mygabe and their new initiates thinks presidency is the only form of survival for them, and will hold on to power.

  16. +2
    0
    vote

    May be the winner takes it all is not the correct form of democracy for Africa. The proportional representation may be much more ideal . People like Hakainde , Odinga, Muliokela, Ngosa may find some purpose in Parliament . The ultimate solution is really a federal structure for most African countries. unitary States can’t work for Africa. Our tribal groupings can’t allow.The sooner we realise this the better.

    • +2
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      vote

      Precisely what Africa needs – decentralization of power. We put too much hope in an individual instead of institutions. A Federal system is the way to go!

  17. +1
    -1
    vote

    Look at the list of people he is going to talk to, no opposition party leaders, meaning for his visit to have been sanctioned he had to promise that he wasn’t going to talk to any opposition figures. Forget about Rhinos, the most endangered species on the African continent are OPPOSITION PARTIES. If nothing is done urgently to protect their existence, they will be extinct in a few years to come.

  18. vote

    My very dear friend SHAKA. Met in one VOA studios in 1999.
    Welcome to Zambia Shaka. How I wish we could meet again.

  19. vote

    The altimosphere for opposition politics is Zambia is cool. These colleagues in the opposition don’t just appreciate.
    Where would they have been if they were in some other African countries we know of? .CRASHED believe me .

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