WE are fatigued with these political games of violence and gymnastics, says chief Chikanta. And Chikanta said Friday’s Constitutional Court ruling entails “the time that everybody must be on the ground in preparation for 2021 because that’s the only way each person will have the opportunity to pass their own judgment regarding the matter, whether they agree with the court’s ruling or not, other than resorting to complaining now.”
In an interview, Chikanta said politicians must not take people’s silence as an indication that all was well.
“We are fatigued with these political games of violence and gymnastics and if we are not careful, the five-year term will end without us the people reminding our leaders to do what we voted them for. We cannot afford to continue being unproductive by practicing politics of hate speech daily. This time around we want peace, harmony and love for one another to prevail under the umbrella, the slogan, of One Zambia One Nation,” Chikanta said.
“Politicians must not take people’s silence as an indication that all is well. The thing is that people are fatigued with these political games. All what they want now is to be productive so that they improve their lives because beyond politics there is a life. That is real life where each one has to meet their goals, providing for the family, take children to school and such huge responsibilities make them get fatigued to start reacting to every political gymnastic, this silence can mean anything, both good or bad.”
Chikanta said people must focus their energies on the dialogue process to ensure a productive 2019. He described 2018 as a year of challenges in terms of economic, governance, political and social aspects.
“Now that this eligibility case is closed, we want to go into the New Year with a free mind that only focuses on the best interests of our country and that can only be achieved if the dialogue process succeeds because we will be assured of good governance which will spill over to boost the economy, peace, harmony and promotion of love for one another in the country – a thing that seemed a challenge in 2018,” Chikanta said.
He challenged President Edgar Lungu and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to put their political differences aside and focus on rebuilding the nation. However, Chikanta called for review of the Republican Constitution to ensure people did not run for third terms. He said as much as the judgment was good for the country but in people’s understanding of democracy it meant that the ConCourt had endorsed a third term of office for President Lungu hence the need to review that particular clause.
“There is need to review certain clauses of the Constitution to deter people from being voted into office of the President three times so as to make the democratic practice of two terms meaningful,” Chikanta said. “Other clauses that must be reviewed are 14 days of hearing of the [presidential election] petition, and the handing over of power to the Speaker [of the National Assembly] to avoid misunderstandings.”
He said the ConCourt judgment had been taken as a confirmation that anyone could go for a third term depending on the circumstances obtaining on the ground. Chikanta said for now there was nothing people could do about the ConCourt ruling over the eligibility of President Lungu but to accept it and push for the review of the clause that qualified him to stand for the third time.
He urged the opposition to just accept the ruling and take it as an opportunity to go flat out on the ground to mobilise. Chikanta said mere complaints about the judgment would not help the opposition but moving on would enhance growth of their parties.
“Now that we know the stance of the Court over President Lungu’s 2021 eligibility case, there is nothing else we can do apart from just accepting the ruling,” said Chikanta. “This is the time that everybody must be on the ground in preparation for 2021 because that’s the only way each person will have the opportunity to pass their own judgment regarding the matter, whether they agree with the court’s ruling or not, other than resorting to complaining now.”