Postponement Of Parliamentary By-elections In Kwacha And Kabushi- Dr Vernon Mwaanga

Vernon Mwaanga
Vernon Mwaanga




It was stated a few weeks ago, that some independent candidates would be sponsored to withdraw from the race just before voting day, to induce a postponement of the elections. The High Court ruling tuesday 13th September, left a great majority of our citizens confused.

The President of the Republic of Republic of Zambia , Mr Hakainde Hichilema spent days campaigning in the two constituencies and he was preceeded by the Vice President Mrs Mutale Nalumango. After the refusal of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), to accept the eligibility of former Members of Parliament whose election had been annulled, went on to announce that elections in the two constituencies would go ahead as originally scheduled on 15th September.

Then came the bombshell ruling of the High Court two days before the voting, which was reported to have stopped the voting on 15th September. This ruling was received with mixed feelings. Money was spent by those candidates and ECZ had spent on preparations and printed ballot papers,deployment and training of officials who would oversee the elections.

We are certainly strengthening our democracy ,judging from some of the irresponsible and abusive statements being against leaders, including the President. We fought for the reintroduction democracy, but democracy is not the equivalent of anarchy. President Hichilema’s reaction to the sudden postponement of elections in the two Parliamentary constituencies, was amazingly calm and mature.

He respected the right of citizens and Organizations to seek redress through our courts of law, when they feel aggrieved. It is their Constitutional right to do so. Democracy does not mean that the laws of our country are no longer applicable. It is the same even in the advanced and older democratic countries.

I fear that most of the values which were left by our founding fathers have been thrown out of the window. Intolerance and evil thoughts have now taken centre stage. In a democracy, disagreements are normal, but even when we disagree, our disagreements, should be civil, temperate, respectful and not become valgar. Politics are not about war or violence. They are about service to the people who are our masters.

Opposing politicians should not treat each other as enemies, but mere opponents with competing ideas. Our political leaders should tame their tongues.

What we urgently need is a postmortem of what has just happened and where we went wrong, to be immediately followed by the appointment of a special commmittee to tide up the mess in the Constitution of Zambia, which was left by the pf government.

In addition to sealing loopholes and curing lacunas, the committee should also look at outstanding issues such as the need for increasing the representation of women in Parliament and Local Councils.


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