Tuesday, July 03, 2012
By Allan Mulenga
Tue 03 July 2012, 13:24 CAT
VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga says the country still has credible opposition to offer checks and balances to the government. And Mwaanga has urged politicians to desist from practicing politics of character assassination.
In an interview yesterday, Mwaanga, who is former chief whip in the MMD government, said offering checks and balances in any democratic society was absolutely essential.
"There is still very credible opposition to the current government; both the MMD and the UPND offer very credible opposition. They are in a position to provide very credible opposition to the current government," he said.
And Mwaanga said politics of name-calling gave a wrong impression about the way politics ought to be conducted.
"I get worried when I hear politicians calling each other names. I belong to a generation where politics was really not about name calling; it was about addressing issues, policies and programmes. They give the Zambian public the wrong impression about politics when they begin assassinating each other, referring to each other in derogatory terms and I don't think that is really very Zambian at all. I do hope that politicians from PF, MMD, UPND and all the other parties would desist from calling each other names because all what this does is just to inflame tension in the country and they give their followers the wrong impression about the way politics ought to be conducted in the country," he said.
Mwaanga urged politicians to engage in mature politics that would contribute to national development.
"There are so many issues that need to be addressed. We have the chronic unemployment issues in the country which need to be addressed not only in terms of words alone, but in terms of the practical action that needs to be taken to resolve the unemployment, particularly among the young people which has reached crisis proportion in the country. There are agricultural problems, people are burning cotton because of the pricing policies regarding cotton. We have to address issues of infrastructure in the country; roads, growing the economy and we have the issue of the constitution which people want to hear about," he said.
Mwaanga said name-calling should be considered as petty politics.
"Attacking each other's personalities or referring to each other in derogatory terms is very petty, as far as I am concerned. It is petty politics and I do hope that they will see the value of stopping that approach to politics," said Mwaanga.
Recently, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema likened President Sata's governance style to that of a clueless hyena while MMD's Nevers Mumba criticised the head of state's recent travels abroad, saying he was becoming a tourist and a 'Johnnie Walker'.