SENIOR Chief Bright Nalubamba says leaders that use power to intimidate opponents are shallow minded and such behaviour must not be allowed to continue.
He said multiparty democracy was under threat in the country.
Nalubamba feared the culture of political appeasement if not stopped would destroy the little gains of multipartism.
“Multipartism is under threat now in the country because of the culture of politics of appeasement that we have embraced. You know politics of appeasement is not good at all. We need people that are ready to tell their leaders point blank when they go wrong and not those who choose to appease them for their selfish gain,” he said. “Frank talk doesn’t destroy friendship but saves one from looking stupid. Politics of appeasement can make a leader to be embarrassed by embracing wrong things. Being in power does not mean that you have to hate criticism from your opponents. [Dr Kenneth] Kaunda managed to bring down the tension in the country when he signed the Choma declaration. It is not too late even for our current leadership to reason with their opponents to avoid creating chaos in the country.
There is no need to shun criticism because it helps to build relationships and offers an opportunity to clear the misunderstandings. We need leaders to share ideas so as to create a favourable environment for effective checks and balances.”
In an interview, Nalubamba wondered how effective checks and balances, which was one of the key elements in a democratic dispensation, could be viewed as promoting hate.
“Leaders that use power to intimidate their opponents are shallow minded and such behaviour must not be allowed to continue because it has no space in a multiparty democracy,” he said.
Nalubamba wondered what the role of the opposition was if it was not to provide effective checks and balances so as to enable development take place.
He urged those with power to reason with their opponents and find lasting solutions to the problems the country was facing instead of practicing shallow politics of intimidation.
The traditional leader pointed out that reasoning with opponents was the best approach any good leader would use to promote peace and love among the people.
He explained that those holding positions on behalf of the people must choose to be open-minded and not to underrate those with divergent views.
Nalubamba said anyone who knew that they were servants of the people must be ready to share ideas with those they were leading.
“People must be allowed and encouraged to share ideas because at the end of the day it is their views that matter in a democracy even if you were elected as their leader in any position be it a chief, President, MP or councillor,” he said.
And on President Edgar Lungu and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s meeting facilitated by the Church, Nalubamba said the development was welcome and must be supported by all Zambians.
He commended the Church for its continued role in promoting peace and love among citizens in the country.
Nalubamba said multipartism was about bringing peace and love to citizens through sharing divergent views.
“The fact that we have a multiparty system of governance means that we should have the opposition and ruling party and if there is no dialogue and reconciliation among citizens in the political divide then how can effective checks and balances be conducted in an environment where there is no peace?” he wondered.
Nalubamba said discussing matters of national importance should be pleasing to any genuine leader.
He urged President Lungu and Hichilema to emulate Dr Kenneth Kaunda who showed love to ANC members even when he knew very well that they did not like him.
The chief said President Lungu and Hichilema must be encouraged to listen to each other and respond intelligently and then Zambians would judge who meant well between them.
Nalubamba feared that politics of appeasement might derail the dialogue process because majority supporters were not telling their leaders the truth.
He said appeasement was not good politics.
Nalubamba said a good supporter was one who tells their leader to stop doing wrong things and corrects them.