Vernon Mwaanga Comments on President Edgar Lungu’s Address to Parliament

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President Edgar Lungu having a light moment with UPND members Parliament Garry Nkombo shortly after the official opening second session of twelfth Assembly at parliament
President Edgar Lungu having a light moment with UPND members Parliament Garry Nkombo shortly after the official opening second session of twelfth Assembly at parliament

Statement by Dr Vernon J Mwaanga on President Edgar C Lungu’s Address to Parliament on Friday 15th September,2017.

President Edgar Lungu’s address to Parliament last Friday may have largely contained more of what we have heard before, but there are a number of new aspects which were important and significant.

He shook hands with opposition party members of parliament and some former members of his party , who are critical of him personally and of his administration, in what appeared to be a friendly gesture.

In matters of state or political relations, a smiling handshake speaks much louder than any written words . This is the kind of human relations Zambia needs at this time as we try to treat and heal wounds of deep divisions caused by divisive elections and a flawed judicial system which left bitterness and tension in our country.

The announcement that there will consultations with other stakeholders on governance issues and on a new constitution are welcome and will go a long way towards creating minimum conditions of mutual trust between and among our politicians, which are absolutely necessary in a democratic society.

Our political leaders must learn the humility and efficacy of talking to each other and not at each other through the media.

I would have preferred to see an african dialogue process at a higher level between President Lungu and the main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, but the reality is that there was no credible or serious african peace initiative on the table.

The Commonwealth moved in and negotiated a dialogue process , which led to the release from prison of UPND President Hakainde Hichilema and is now being headed by a distinguished african diplomat Prof Ibrahim Gambari, who has just completed his first round of talks and inclusive consultations.

From what he is reported to have said, this process will be painfully slow and could only start in December,2017. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Catholic Bishops lead by Archbishop Telesphor Mpundu deserve praise and gratitute for the work they did.

There are a lot of urgent and pressing issues, which require serious attention, such as police reforms; judicial reforms and reconstitution of the Constitutional Court ; Reconstitution of the Electoral Commission and implementation of recommendations of the recommendations of the Electoral Reforms Technical Committee to make our electoral process more open and transparent ; Further amendments to the Constitution to include additional special seats for women in the National Assembly and in local councils with a view to moving closer to gender equality; Giving autonomy to the National Assembly to elect its own presiding officers and not to rely on executive nominations.

This should include minimum qualifications for the Speaker to have served as a member of the national assembly for a minimum of 5 years. A mandatory requirement for oversight committees of the national assembly to be chaired by opposition members as is the practice in other commonwealth countries; further amendments to the public order act to insure that it is applied fairly and equally to all political political parties before, during and after elections; a recommitment to resolving election disputes through a credible court process and not the streets; corruption issues. This list is by no means inclusive, but merely indicative.

Political leaders at all levels must refrain from making incindiary or hate speeches against others and leaders of all political parties must be seen to be punishing those who do so.

The media, must also play its part by refraining from making inflamatory, irresponsible and insulting statements against other political leaders . The state print and electronic media which is owned by all taxpayers, must play an examplary role by making sure that they dont just give publicity to ruling party and government officials, but also to those in the opposition, so that all views are heard.

The country must move to created conditions of zero tolerance to violence of whatever form and by whoever commits it and the police must be non partisan in dealing firmly with it. Violent has no place in a democratic society.

There will always be differences of opinion on many issues , but these differences should not degenerate into violence or enemity. There will be irresponsible loud mouths in all parties, but these should be caged for the sake of building a just society for all Zambians.

President Lungu and UPND leader have set the tone and their followers should now take a leaf.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Comment:
    Spoken as chief adviser to upnd. Although nobody else takes his opinion as of any relevance, his very opinion’s shelf- life having expired such a long time ago.

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    • I need help to understand why at “swearing in” those taking the oath pledge allegiance to the president and not the country/constitution or the flag! If the pledge is aligned to the executive where does it place the other two arms of government i.e. the legislative and judiciary? No wonder the Executive lords over the judiciary and legislative placing them subordinate giving the presidency more powers than what is ideally supposed to be the rule of three equal branches of governance! Are we blind to this flaw or its deliberate and no one cares? Just follow the “swearing in” ceremonies and have your ears at alert!

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  2. Meanwhile it’s been proved that there was no hacking during the Kenyan election as alleged by the opposition and endorsed by some judge.

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  3. Comment: Atleast today VJ you have said somethings sensible although your tone may be deemed to be with forged tongue.Continue with same spirit.

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  4. VJ spend time to school your boy HH on how to respect other human beings and to stop to think he is the most wise person in this country.
    Unless he tones down it will be impossible for him to win any election in Zambia.

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  5. As much as dialogue is important president Lungu must not entertain the aspect of excluding other political parties no matter how small they are. If the 2016 elections had challenges they did not only affect PF and UPND. Therefore dialogue towards 2021 elections must include other political parties from day 1. Mr Gambari has done a half baked job because he has not yet met other political leaders who equally have grievances about the 2016 elections e.g FDD. To belittle them is unacceptable. As for disagreements regarding 2016 elections let those aggrieved use the courts of law but they should not expect to use courts and dialogue at the same time. At no time should matters before the courts be entertained in the dialogue process.

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  6. If all these things are wrong and need to be fixed what was Vernon doing 27 years in government? So many years to fix things but he wants ECL to fix all in 2 years? Suddenly he admits he did little for others to start from. Its almost like PF had to start from the scratch. Others cant win elections because the election processes are wrong, the constitution is wrong, but MMD snatched power and the PF took over in these exact imperfect conditions! Whats impossible for other parties? Suddenly its an impossible situation? Give au a break!

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  7. For the youngest appointed ambassador by Dr Kaunda you rarely give credit, you amaze me. One minute you are dividing the country based on you supporting your own tribal based party, and next minute you want to give advise you should have been giving when we needed it just because you know Edgar Lungu is on firm grounds. Tribalism does not pay.

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  8. On principle,let the UPND choose.
    On one hand,UPND want dialogue.On the other hand,they remain antagonistic.
    HH has never ever been part of any political progress in Zambia.
    Right now he should be working with other political parties but they all understand his weakness.

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  9. The root cause of heightened Tension and Social and political strife in Zambia is a Stolen and Petitioned 2016 Election. Reforming or Restructuring our Electoral Institutions can only be done if a Court hears the Petition and illegalities and irregularities committed by ECZ,Concourt,ZPS, ECL are known. There cannot be re-unification,reconciliation and National Healing without a Truth Commission. That Truth Commission is the Hearing of the 2016 Petition like Kenya has done. The issuing of a Court Election Verdict is far more important than Foreign Observers Mission ‘s validation of the 2016 Election .If Kenya did it why can’t Zambia do the same?

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  10. Good contribution political veteran uncle V. J. Let Lungu be genuine and fair in the way he runs our country. We all need a better Zambia, and Lungu holds the keys to this dream by vertue of being the plot 1 occupant.

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  11. So if I commented favourably on HH , and I happen to be tonga , then it’s tribalism ? But if Kz ,the mwilas , Chanda’s mulengas , Bandas and all these ” animal farm creatures ” banded together , it’s fine ) it’s like the animal farm story “where some animals are more equal than others ” ! But knowing VJ , his stand is always concrete, no mediocrety, his opinions are refined . Anyway, cheta ngucheta nobasanhima ::::tolerate them VJ …..

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  12. Let’s be careful not to change laws just because under5 made some noises. The greater majority of his noises were nothing but absolute egoistic rubbbish. If under5 loses an election because he is strategically bankrupt or because he childishly appointed GBM as running mate in order to get the bemba vote, does that call for change of laws or constitution? If under5 and his bunch of mentally daft lawyers and UP.NDonkey MPs fail to present a single iota of evidence within 14 days, should we extend the period to 365 days? If under5 fails to respect Eagle One, should we change the law to expose or weaken the President’s security arrangements? If UPN.DZonkeys are suspended from parley because they broke the law does that call for mutilating the law to allow anarchy in parliament? If under5…

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  13. … If UPN.Donkeys are suspended from parley because they broke the law does that call for mutilating the law to allow anarchy in parliament? If under5 loses an election should we change the law so that Edgar Chagwa Lungu loses the next election? Most of these laws have served us well for a long time and stood the test of time. All mature politicians contested elections under the same laws (Nkumbula, Kaunda, Mazoka, Mwanawasa, Sata etc etc) and some have won and others have lost, governments have changed several times under the same laws. An under5 kaponya who has never even been a councillor or any political leadership position (even Mazoka was Branch chairperson) comes on the scene and we should change our laws? In my opinion the behaviour of under5 before, during, and after the 2016…

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  14. …An under5 kaponya who has never even been a councillor or any political leadership position (even Mazoka was Branch chairperson) comes on the scene and we should change our laws? In my opinion the behaviour of under5 before, during, and after the 2016 elections up to today but particularly during the period after the elections can only be described as selfish, uncouth, unpatriotic, unZambian, egoistic, inhuman, uneducated, tribalistic, and at best childish befitting the term under5. As we dialogue, let’s be careful not to tamper with good laws just to make it possible for under5 to win an election, the country is bigger than some under5 idoit or any perpetual loser for that matter. Signed off: Terrible.

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  15. Its a sad era , where animal farm mentality is at its best coz Satan is leading some of these people ! How pathetic comments in 16,17 and 18 are ? VJ talks of greater things , but alas ! mr terrible who I believe went to university of stupid to study science of stupid , so his stupidity could increase , and it has now gone viral? He never sees any good in other people other than his own . HH cannot and should not be termed as under5 nor as VJs boy ! He is now an international figure . That is stupidity from all those who studied science of stupid at the university of stupid . Discuss issues not individuals .Zambia is at crossroads now, remember that .

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  16. Vj was supposed to put things rights when he was in government when he was minister in Kaunda regime, in chiluba regime he didn’t see all these bad laws,constional Court, bad Media coverage in public media znbc when he was information minister no opposition was being covered during is time.
    This is why we need to prepare when we have that chance so that we do not fall in the same trap our Brother vj as happen to find himself too . nyanja people says lelo chili pali iwe mailo chili munzanko.

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  17. My only advise to my Brother vj is first repent to the Zambian people for not contributed to prepare the ground for future generation when he had an opportunity to save in the governments of unip and mmd if indeed he did prepared we wouldn’t been found in this situations were now including himself , Lungu was not there by then he only found your bad laws you left and is only following what you left.
    So dear vj ask for forgiveness from the Zambian people first I know the Zambian are loving kind peaceful people they will listen and forgive you. And give guidance to the up coming leader not fall in the same line you happened to be so that they become good leaders who can lead this great nation Zambia properly
    One Zambia one nation.
    God bless you
    God bless Zambia

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  18. @19 Lumwi, under5 “is an international figure”, kikikikikiki. But that is exactly what I have been saying all along, that his ego is raised when he is pictured hosting diplomats for lunch, shaking hands with the Commonwealth envoy, addressing DA parliamentarians with Maimane, sitting in the public gallery of the South African parliament listening to President Zuma’s speech, only that he failed to shake the hands of President Zuma because they refused to give him a special guest invitation. Despite the embarrassing scene of Maimane pointing out the presence of Under5 to President Zuma, the President refused to acknowledge his presence, basically but diplomatically reducing under5 to an intruder in parliament!!

    And you tell us that Under5 is “an international figure”, my foot!!…

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  19. ….Ana you tell us that Under5 is “an international figure”, my foot!! What is wrong with you and your fellow UPN.Donkeys!!!!

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  20. As for this surrogate of **********, I forgave him his famous transgression, that he is human and can make mistakes. But when he turned himself into the chief tribalist for **********, one who was known and revered as a nationalist from the cha cha cha days, he lost it it all including the little respect he had left in him! Shut your beak VJ …Donkey!

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  21. As for this surrogate of UP.NDonkeys, I forgave him his famous transgression, that he is human and can make mistakes. But when he turned himself into the chief tribalist for **********, one who was known and revered as a nationalist from the cha cha cha days, he lost it it all including the little respect he had left in him! Shut your beak VJ …Donkey!

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  22. As for this surrogate of UP.NDonkeys, I forgave him his famous transgression, that he is human and can make mistakes. But when he turned himself into the chief tribalist for UPN.Donkeys, one who was known and revered as a nationalist from the cha cha cha days, he lost it it all including the little respect he had left in him! Shut your beak VJ …Donkey!

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  23. Time to move on as one Zambia, one nation let us avoid tribal remarks against one another. We are one and moreover our children are marrying whoever they love regardless of the tribe unlike what used to happen in the past.
    Saying or rebuking other tribes is not saving us any good, time to move as one is now for the betterment of our nation’s development so that our next generation will have a better, peaceful place to live in harmony as we are taught by our independence icons.
    Let us shelve the hatred speeches and move on as a nation rather than continuing insulting one another, Zambia is the only country we have hence the need to fend and keep it a peaceful place.

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