WILLIAM Harrington says he is sending a “very polite and respectful advice” to President Edgar Lungu to draw a lesson from Zambia’s political history where a sitting president began to use insulting language such as “stupid idiots” resulting in his defeat and ouster from power.
The former environment minister said it was very surprising that President Lungu was exhibiting the same culture of threats, insults and oppression against citizens including those who desire to peacefully express themselves over the governance of their country.
“With now only a few months before the 2021 Presidential and General elections, I am sending a very polite and respectful advice to President Edgar Lungi to draw a lesson from the political history of a certain era where the sitting President began to use abusive and insulting language such as ‘stupid idiots’, resulting in his defeat and ouster from power,” he said. “President Lungu is surely old enough to recall this historical fact and it is therefore very surprisingly that he is exhibiting the same culture of threats, insults and oppression against citizens including those who desire to peacefully express themselves over the governance of their country. What is also disturbing is that the President is not only condoning foul language from some of his cadres he has appointed to high office in his government.”
Harrington said it was unfortunate that the President was failing to see that his “trusted” appointees are only contributing to digging his grave deeper than the already dangerous levels that it had already reached.
“We can only encourage President Lungu to take leadership and decisive action against those people who are turning the Zambian voters, especially the youth who are the majority, against his party and government. And his ordering of the police service to use force against unarmed and defenceless citizens must be condemned as it is oppressive and uncalled for,” said Harrington. “No amount of oppression and suppression will change the minds of citizens when the ‘hour’ comes to vote and decide on who should govern their country. The one-party dictatorship of the UNIP used the same oppressive tactics in its dying years but the people still rose up at the ballot box and decisively removed the so-called Party and its Government. The rest is history and all us including President Lungu must recall that historical fact.”
First president Kenneth Kaunda was known for using the words “stupid idiots”, particularly against journalists whose questions he did not like.
He was soundly defeated by the late Frederick Chiluba in a popular vote during the country’s return to multiparty politics in 1991.