Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Defend civility in politics, Katele appeals to Zambians

Defend civility in politics, Katele appeals to Zambians
By Patson Chilemba
Wed 28 Apr. 2010, 03:40 CAT

MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba yesterday said Zambians should demand civility from their political leaders.

Commenting on the attacks and counterattacks involving President Rupiah Banda and opposition political party leaders and others, Kalumba advised political leaders to use language that would make politics a noble profession.

"What I am saying, at the end of the day we all must stop and use civility in our language. I keep saying this everyday and I am becoming like a broken record.

But we need politics of good, against politics of evil, of violence, of insults. Yah, on both sides! I have said that. We need politics of respect for each other, mutual respect for each other, a selective use of language in a way that gives politics a face of humble, civil, noble occupation or profession," Kalumba said.

"But of late we have been treated, both in the print media as well as public pronouncements by politicians using very strong language, and they don't apologise for that. That I think is very unfortunate. I am appealing to all Zambians to stand up and defend civility in politics, demand civility in politics from their leaders."

President Banda has engaged in personal attacks against other political leaders and citizens who have also countered by using strong language against him.

Recently in Milanzi, President Banda said UPND president Hakainde Hichilema was cheating himself to think that he would be adopted the PF-UPND pact's presidential candidate because PF leader Michael Sata was the one who would stand.

But Hichilema reacted by saying that President Banda had a small brain to think like that.

President Banda followed up his earlier statement by launching wholesale attacks on Sata, Hichilema, and Ng'andu Magande asserting that they were puppets of The Post and that Fr Frank Bwalya was an ugly man.

And during his campaigns in North-western Province over the last few days, President Banda called Hichilema a son of a dog and Sata as a real mad man.

However, Kalumba said some specific attacks involving President Banda and Sata should be looked at from a cultural point of view.

"I have tried to study this relationship between President Banda and PF president Michael Sata. Sometimes I think even as media perhaps you should treat their interaction a little more culturally.

There are times they use very harsh language to each other but they don't mean that level which we would understand to be insults because they do play cultural cousinship,” Kalumba said. “And I have met both of them and I have sometimes queried whether they are not in the mode that people might misunderstand.

But Sata and Banda do talk to each other and perhaps when you people take their jokes to mean more than what they intend, then it becomes a problem. The ordinary listener thinks that there is war going on between them when they don't mean it that way."

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