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‘The presidency has been soiled’

Kelvin Fube Bwalya is right, the presidency has been soiled.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda took the presidency to very high heights and Edgar Lungu has brought it down.

Those who voted for Edgar in 2016 have found themselves disappointed in the first few years of his rule.

Edgar is not a man that deserves respect. He has done nothing to deserve respect and has done everything to lose it.

While it might be true that the current President does not deserve respect, the office of the presidency does. That is to say, respecting the presidency does not necessarily mean respecting the person in office. The blatant disrespect that Edgar has shown for political opponents speaks volumes about the character of this man. Edgar has and will continue to wield power in an effort to maintain his image and self-interest.

This is not a man who deserves respect. It does not appear that he himself respects the office that he holds. And for that reason we as a people need to stand united in opposition to his actions. Opposition to Edgar is not normal political banter. Disagreement on political and social matters should not lead to disrespect. Disagreement can challenge us and make us stronger. It is part of democracy. Yet disrespectful actions – such as those that Edgar continuously exhibits – warrant the opposition that we are seeing. What we are seeing is but the beginning of a movement that will continue unless Edgar begins to earnestly change his character and ways. We have little hope that this will be the case, but opposition to his rule must continue in an attempt to hold him accountable.

That is to say, the united opposition and resentment that we are seeing today is occurring to make visible a justified opposition to a disrespectful man precisely because the Office of the President should be respected.

We celebrate the peaceful transition of power. We respect the power of the President. We fear how that power could be used against those without visibility and a voice. And that’s precisely why we must all work tirelessly to resist this particular President unless there is a dramatic shift. We hope for a respectable president. Together, we can make that happen. If you find yourself against Edgar, continue to peacefully and publicly oppose his reckless, tyrannical and corrupt rule. Voice your concerns. If you voted for President Trump, we plead with you to examine how you can hold him accountable. Make him a better leader, not by minimising his evil deeds, but by demanding him to change. The reaction to Edgar does not need to further the divide in this country. We can together respect the presidency while demanding the man in office to respect it himself.

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