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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Democracy: One Man’s Food is Another Man’s Poison

Columns Democracy: One Man’s Food is Another Man’s Poison

By Isaac Mwanza

In some small tiny Island near the Antarctica lives a tribe where the dead people are not buried if the same lived a good life. It is an abomination to bury such type of dead persons. Their bodies must be cooked and eaten among the kinsmen so that their spirit may live in them.

So if you went there and told them that we bury our beloved ones in Zambia, they would think you are unloving and uncaring. But what happens when us Zambians hear this story of the bodies of dead people who lived a good life being eaten? We think those guys are savages, monsters, etc.

This example demonstrates what democracy is about: choices!

In the 1990s, Zambia chose to revert to the multi party participatory democracy. We all have a duty to defend our democracy by showing tolerance to each other’s views..

One may support the Patriotic Front and Edgar Chagwa Lungu, as I do, but that does not mean the others are his enemies. The same should be borne in mind by supporters of Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND that those who hold views against them are not their enemies. Everyone is simply exercising democratic right to choice, which must be respected.

Students and the youth in particular, must learn that democracy is about tolerating one’s choice without making them your enemy. We all brothers and sisters but with a different democratic taste. Our duty is to convince those on the other side to vote with us and not to vilify them.

The reasons why some parties have not managed to form government over the many years is because they concentrate more on preaching to their own members, the already converted ones as opposed to trying to get the support of those who don’t like what they stand for. We treat those who don’t agree with us as enemies but forgetting or not Zambians.

Some diehards of some parties think that only those who agree with them are Zambians. So they see “Zambians” voting for them on 12 August, 2021. This is the first step towards failure. Zambians hold very divergent views. A good number of Zambians may stand with you and another good number of Zambians won’t stand with you. You can not say the ones that stand with you are Zambians and those who tell you that they are not ready to vote for your leader are not Zambians.

At a time we headed towards a make or break elections for both the PF and UPND, I long to see fellow young Zambians use the social media responsibly, not to spread hate during campaigns but convince those who don’t agree with you on why they must vote for your leader, but always remembering that democracy is a matter of choices.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Even me am voting for Edgar Lungu even if I don’t agree with having a running mate like Luo. But Nalumango is worse than Luo

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  2. Even me am voting for Edgar Lungu even if I don’t agree with having a running mate like Luo. But Nalumango is worse than Luo.

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  3. But we have cadres who think Zambia belongs to them and only them. We see them in PF, UPND and civil society leaders.

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  4. A lot of sense here. What is sad is non of these candidates are convincing us why we must vote for them as opposed to maintaining Lungu.

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  5. A lot of sense here. What is sad is non of these candidates are convincing us why we must vote for them as opposed to maintaining Lungu. They just keep spreading hate and not bringing out real issues

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  6. Thank you for the advice. We should always put Zambia first. Parties are vehicles for our success as Zambians. No need to hate each other.

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  7. Great counsel,. Let those with ears hear this. I find it undemocratic when one is called a f00l for having a different view /Choice from ours

  8. This is the advice upnd need. However those stubborn bab00ns do not listen. So you have wasted time advising tribal bab00ns who only see things in lense of tribalism

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  9. Good piece of thought, balanced and open. The author has declared interest which is very fair but also he has not vilified anyone. I think we need to understand that before the so called multi party democracy we were all Zambians. Political parties come and go, Zambia remains irrespective of which political party forms Govt. indeed let us respect each other’s different views without the shedding of blood. We need to clip the wings of political cadres. We have institutions to maintain law and order and not cadres.

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  10. Well said, Isaac. A political leader does not appeal only to his natural constituency that may be identified with people from the same ethnic group or having an ethnic affinity with it. A political leader goes beyond his natural constituency and tries to endear himself to those beyond or outside his natural constituency.

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  11. I cannot agree more with Isaac. Give UPND a chance to govern, Zambia will have one of the most intolerant regimes that would make PF look more like saints. It is in the DNA of UPND and their supporters to insult, disrespect and abuse in all manner of ways those who hold views different from them. We experience it at UNZA on a regular basis with the existing unions that are led by UPND cadres. They are not ready to listen to views of those who hold different views from them despite them being bona fide members who contribute their membership fees to these unions. They are treated more like second class members. Yet this is happening at the highest institution of learning. I shudder to imagine these same people being in government and how they would treat people with opposed views. The…

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  12. Even this advice will fall on a hard rock. No one can tell them anything except HH. It is true some people want change but a good number what to stay with the de.vil they know well.

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  13. Thank you Isaac for a well balanced article. Indeed l don’t see why l should vote for UPND with all the signs of intolelencd and abusive language to those that have different views to theirs. On top of that l personally think PF has performed fairly well in the 10 years they have been in power. Violence , cadrerism and corruption is in both parties and voting for UPND may just as well be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. You don’t change Govt the way we change pants.

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  14. Thank you Isaac for a well balanced article. Indeed l don’t see why l should vote for UPND with all the signs of intolerance and abusive language to those that have different views to theirs. On top of that l personally think PF has performed fairly well in the 10 years they have been in power. Violence , cadrerism and corruption is in both parties and voting for UPND may just as well be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. You don’t change Govt the way we change pants.

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  15. And there are some diehards of YALI who believe that only them can be YALI president and YALI Governance Advisor

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  16. Democracy is demonstrated by how the heads of political parties treat each other. If your neighbour has vicious dogs and you try to befriend him and he says come home for tea. While you are at the gate waiting his vicious dogs come snarling their teeth at you so that you know that once the gate is opened you will be minced meat, you expect the guy to come out and tie his dogs but all he does is keep quiet in his house while praising his dogs for doing a good job. how can you be friends? Next time, you will come with stones. Ediga has let loose his dogs (police) on HH 15 times while pretending to be a Christian. This is why HH moves with stones (cadres in convoys).

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  17. Is this an article to be proud of?? In a constitutional democracy, it is not just quoting an old saying “one man’s food is another man’s poison”. In a constitutional democracy there are rights, laws and regulations that should be respected. It is not just a matter of doing anything outside the provision of constitutional rights and obligations. There are high standards in a constitutional democracy than just parroting ” one man’s meat is another man’s poison”.

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  18. #26  Ngoma Yamaano
     June 7, 2021 At 3:19 pm

    Well said…….only lungu and his PF rats don’t understand what democratic rights are ……….

    stealing , looting and free cash handouts is what matters to them

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  19. It would appear that most respondents are simply to stup1d to understand what is said and as for the fake KZ …just remain fake
    We want change

  20. Those UPND cadres who have lost their lives, gassing, poverty in the country, corruption….All brought by this unbelievably incompetent government. Some peoples heads need to be examined. Pointing out the truth about countless atrocities by this PF government doesn’t mean that others consider PF as enemies. Its the Truth.

  21. HH and Lungu need good advisors. They will do everything this time around to harm cause havoc. But this election should not be about HH or Edgar Lungu. Let the two leaders show leadership and denounce violence. Sadly HH is perfecting violence among his cadres

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