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WE’RE NOT HEADED FOR A BATTLEFIELD …Govt, PF have a serious responsibility as facilitators of the elections – M’membe

SOCIALIST Party president Fred M’membe says the forthcoming electoral process will provide all Zambians with a unique opportunity to show their political maturity and sincere aspirations for peace and harmony anchored in justice.

But Dr M’membe appealed to the government and to the ruling Patriotic Front to realise that they have a serious responsibility.

“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless it’s a good place for all of us to live in. The election campaigns we are entering should not be confused with a battlefield where the aim is to destroy the other. This is simply a competition to serve and not the annihilation of one another,” he said.

Dr M’membe said to have peaceful, free and fair elections, certain conditions have to prevail “in our country and in our hearts”.

“There ought to be a conducive atmosphere. The major players have to agree on the conditions under which these elections would be held. The contestants have to conduct themselves in a manner that does not put others at unfair disadvantage,” he said. “In the light of this, I make a special appeal to the government and to the ruling party to realise that they have a serious responsibility. As facilitators of the elections, they should ensure that the concerns of all key players are adequately addressed. We all need to be open and constructive in participating in the electoral process and addressing the challenges we face.”

Dr M’membe said the forthcoming electoral process would provide all Zambians with a unique opportunity to show their political maturity and their sincere aspirations for peace and harmony anchored in justice.

“The test of good leadership will not therefore be how many trees it pulls up by the roots but how it fits into a continuous process of adaptation in which leadership is combined with sensitivity to national mood,” he said. “Everyone’s life in this country is inevitably mixed with every other life and, no matter what Constitution or laws we come up with, no matter what precautions we take, unless the people we meet are kind and decent and humane, we are going nowhere.”

Dr M’membe said decency, integrity and love come from human beings, rather than from constitutions, laws and institutions.

He said in any true democracy, more was needed than just laws and institutions.

“We must hold on to some values and norms, some expectations and aspirations. This is the environment, the atmosphere, that makes democracy work,” said Dr M’membe. “This is the so-called ‘political culture’ which I feel is so necessary in Zambia today if our multiparty democracy is to succeed. The fundamental value we must have is a respect for diversity and acceptance of pluralism. Gone are the days when everyone was supposed to think the same way, belong to the same political party, and support the same programme.”

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