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Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Peace Zambia Enjoys Did Not Happen by Accident, We worked for it-VJ

HeadlinesThe Peace Zambia Enjoys Did Not Happen by Accident, We worked...

Veteran politician and former diplomat Vernon Johnson Mwaanga has warned against continued political related violence among political parties in the country.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia has prescribed Friday 20th January, 2023 as the date on which to hold Ward by-elections in Itala Ward of Lunga Town Council in Luapula Province, Kashikishi Ward of Nsama Town Council in Northern Province, Kapanda Ward of Kasama Municipal Council in Northern Province and Nyatanda Ward of Chavuma Town Council in North-Western Province.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming by elections, Dr. Mwaanga said political violence and violence of any form or shape is unacceptable.

Nominations for the said by-elections will be conducted on Thursday, 15th December, 2022.

The by-elections have arisen due to resignations of councilors in the four (4) wards.

Election related violence has been reported in some parts of the country where the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has conducted elections.

UPND and PF cadres clashed during the filing of nominations for the Mkushi Council Chairperson by-election late in October.

Dr. Mwaanga said disputed elections have been a major source of violence in many countries, particularly in Africa.

“Our country has been regarded as an oasis of peace since independence in October, 1964. This did not happen by accident. We worked for it, by making sure that ethnicity was accommodated in all arms of the government under the umbrella of one Zambia, one nation. History is replete with many examples of the damage violence can cause to nations. Disputed Elections have been a major source of violence in many countries, particularly in Africa.

“This is notwithstanding that in all modern constitutions, there is provision for those with genuine Electoral grievances and solid evidence, to have the option to go to courts of law to challenge election results. Jaw Jaw is better than War War. Violence in whatever form or shape is abominable. According to the United Nations Global Study on Homicide, 1.6 million people die from violence every year, making it one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Violence is also incredibly costly. In 2015 alone, the total cumulative impact of violence to the world economy was estimated at US$13.6 trillion at that time, a figure which was equivalent to 13.3% of world GDP,” he said.

Dr. Mwaanga, the former Minister of Information and Government Chief Whip, said politics is not war.

“Political violence is usually started by cadres of political parties, with or without the blessings of senior officials. Nearly in all political parties, there is always a rogue element. It is this element, which does not accept that in a democratic dispensation, there is room to accommodate different opinions. Politics is not war. It is about competition of ideas to serve the people. In every orderly country, there is a process for making decisions. This process allows those with dissenting views to be heard. In the final analysis, the majority must have their way. There will always be honest differences of opinions in party structures at different levels. Some of these differences arise due to lack of sufficient information or clear explanations. Those in opposition should not oppose everything proposed by the governing party. Everything should be judged on its own merits. The opposition may also come up with good ideas from time to time and the governing party should listen to them and accept those that are relevant,” Dr. Mwaanga said.

He reiterated that political violence undermines peace and stability of the country.

“Inter-party and intra party dialogue is vital in any democratic society. That is why we set up the Center for Multi-party Dialogue Some years ago, with the help of the Netherlands Institute for Multi-party Democracy, which in recent years, has become moribund. It is important for political party leaders to talk to each other and not talk at each other. Use of insulting or abusive language is equally unacceptable. As an elder, I would like to appeal to all political parties, to desist from violence and condemn all forms of violence. It undermines peace and stability. It discourages foreign investors. It also disturbs the lives of ordinary citizens, who want to be left alone to live normal lives. We fought against colonialism, because we wanted our people and I mean all our people, to live better lives, better education and health facilities, better roads, better housing , have access to clean water and put food on their family tables etc. It has been disappointing to see political leaders, who had nothing to their names, playing with a lot of money, which was ill-gotten. Financial integrity among leaders is absolutely vital. The struggle for independence was not about enriching ourselves leaders. It was about working for the people,” Dr. Mwaanga said.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Tell them VJ, they seem to have lost their marbles. Our country is indeed at cross roads. We have taken our peace for granted to the point where we are now conniving with the same people you fought in hope of a different outcome. Your generation worked tirelessly for the freedom of our nation but this new generation appear to be chasing dollars for themselves and not wealth of a nation. We are slowly loosing our identity and our land. Zambians need to be reminded of our independence struggle to keep us all in check.

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  2. In Africa, they think being in different political party means enemity or war, i wonder if politicians especially in Zambia know the meaning of the word opponent, they think it means enemity, that is why development won’t come easily because for example even debates are done from a party line because they think the other party is an aenemy . No matter how much that party ideology may be not sound, ledaers and their follwers just tow the line, instead of debates being based on careful analysis and objectivity

  3. VJ is one of the few remaining genuine statesmen. In the current pool of politicians only a small number have potential for true statesman with substance, dignity, weight and solid all-round understanding of Zambia with top grade patriotism. In the near future Zambia has to look for national guidance to the likes of Malimba Masheke, Kingsley Chinkuli, Edify Hamukale, Inonge Wina, Charles Banda, Panji Kaunda, Amusa mwanamwambwa, with the rest being mediocre, narrow and petty.

  4. It people like VJ, who are fueling violence by being partisan. VJ has always been supporting violent UPND. He needs to be a states man by practising non partisan politics. As a senior citizen, he needs to be neutral not siding with a dictator. HH has become tribal and dictatorial. Appointments are there for everyone to see. It is a recipe of violence.

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    • Exactly my thoughts….. the VJ of today is completely different from the VJ of yesterday. How can a sane person dispute that elections are a source of conflicts……he is disputing this because his party Upnd has committed more electoral malpractices than any party before in just a year they have been in office.

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  5. As one of the few surviving freedom fighters you now carry a heavier burden than ever before. The consolation is that VJ has never turned his back on national duty. The current crop of politicians have polluted our brotherhood that has held this nation together even in difficult times. As Zambia’s number 1 diplomat please get these politicians talking as that will defuse the tension. It’s worrying to see comments about Tutwa’s death from some members of political parties. It’s also shameful for PF aspiring Presidential candidates to turn that funeral into a campaign forum. Stop those live broadcasts of your visits if indeed you’re going there to mourn and don’t pollute the family. Leave them to make their own decisions that are in the interest of their family.

  6. That Zambia has been peaceful and an ‘oasis of peace’ since 1964 is a farcical fairy tale. Zambians have not known peace since 1600s when the peaceful Bantu Botatwe, the Maravi and the Twa people were living happily together. The people from the Luba and Lunda empires to the north and the Zulu kingdom from the south and the slave trade brought war and misery to these lands. After that, more misery was heaped upon the people by the British colonisers. After independence UNIP and ANC were at each others throats. UNIP became the sole party and inflicted dictatorship and poverty on the people. MMD brought the misery of privatisation and PF unleashed cadres on the people. Our so called peace has been docility in suffering, the absence of civil war armies- but that is not real peace.

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    • Living together kuti. The Maravi Kingdom was far north east away from the Bantu Botatwe. You are trying to ignore the massive amount of ethnic groups between them to create your own history

  7. Having an effective electoral system is a cure to all these endless elections disputes. An effective ECZ can not take a letter from Examination Council of Zambia as authenticity of the the requirements of a candidate. Physical documentary evidence knocks off Malanji of Kwacha Kitwe, Munir Zulu of Lumezi Eastern province, Lubusha of Chipangali Chipata,, James J Banda of Petauke and others IMMEDIATELY disqualify themselves to stand for elections on account of failure to present a documentary evidenced grade 12 certificate than letters without verifications from examination council of Zambia. An effective and zero torelant ECZ would curtail some of these elections disputes in Zambia.

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