CHIEF Chona of Monze district says the purpose of multipartism is useless when electorates are forced to choose where to belong when they can make their own choices.
In an interview, Chona said as the country was headed for polls in August, no Zambian must be forced to belong to a political party against their wish for democracy to make sense.
“If we are going to be forcing each other on where to belong to then the purpose of multipartism is useless. Why should we be forced to vote for certain people when it is our right to make a choice,” Chona asked.
He urged political parties to learn to exhibit maturity and deeper understanding of the essence of democracy that each individual was entitled to their own political choice.
“Politicians should understand that it is their duty to convince electorates to choose them and not to use force. Let people not be forced especially us the chiefs, to say ‘if you don’t support us we will do this and that to you,’ no!” Chona said. “Let each one do it for themselves. Us chiefs are not politicians, we only rule people and I don’t want politicians to involve us in their politics.” “Me as Chief Chona I’m saying that I don’t want to be used by politicians to convince people to vote for them, no. Let them do it on their own. If you fail to convince people don’t come to cry to us that we are bad because we mislead people to support such a political party or candidate. Don’t say we didn’t help you, no. Go and convince them yourself that’s why you went to school.”
Chona said democracy in Zambia was affected by violence done on those that did not want to follow party A or B hence ending up being perceived as enemies who must be fought.
“Now that is not democracy but mere wasting of time. Let there be a platform for each individual without being coerced or stopped from using that platform. There must be no discrimination. In multipartism each one has a right to belong to a political party of their choice. There must be peace instead of threatening to kill each other because that is not politics. And that means multipartism is not working if people are not free to choose where they want to belong,” Chona said. “We see couples in Western world belonging to different political parties and we don’t see them fighting or divorcing. Even us Zambians we need to mature and be able to overlook other people’s right of choice whether bad or good. Democracy is not a forcing matter. Don’t come to threaten me and say Chief Chona supports party A or B and therefore he must be treated like this, no! I have a democratic right to vote for a candidate or party of my choice.”
Chona empasized that there must be freedom for everyone to choose a political party of their choice.