The government has advised Vernon Mwaanga to use his status as a veteran politician and senior citizen to maintain the country’s unity and democracy.
Chief Government Spokesperson, Dora Siliya says it is indisputable that Mr. Mwaanga is a statesman having served this country from the pre-independence era and it is expected of him that his debate on national issues should be above partisan politics.
Ms. Siliya says the country expects a man of Mr. Mwaanga’s status to be a uniting factor and a voice of reason to the leadership and the nation at large.
She says government, therefore, finds the remarks attributed to Mr. Mwaanga in today’s Diggers newspaper that Zambia’s democracy, under the PF government, is receding, as disheartening and disappointing.
Ms. Siliya told ZNBC News in a statement that Mr. Mwaanga is aware of Zambia’s unparalleled record of good governance, transparency, accountability, rule of law and constitutionalism which this government has continued to promote.
She said on January 16th, 2016 at Heroes Stadium, President Edgar Lungu signed into law the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill which, among other things, reduced the powers of the President, which no other sitting African President had ever done.
Ms. Siliya said the PF government has transformed the Judiciary with the creation of the Constitutional Court and the Appeals Court in enhancing the country’s justice delivery system.
And Ms. Siliya said that never before in the history of the country, has there been such freedom of expression as is being enjoyed by citizens under the PF government.
She said the ongoing debate by citizens, including Mr. Mwaanga himself, on the Constitutional Amendment Bill No.10 of 2016 and other national issues, attest to this fact.
Ms. Siliya said only a government committed to democracy can liberalize the media landscape to the extent that there are now over 100 private radio stations and no fewer than 40 television stations on air countrywide and several newspapers.
She urged Mr. Mwaanga to desist from inciting public resentment against the government which does not befit his status as a seasoned diplomat and senior citizen.