Monday, February 11, 2013

Katele urges politicians to engage in dialogue

By Godfrey Chikumbi in Kawambwa
Mon 11 Feb. 2013, 14:40 CAT

KATELE Kalumba has advised political leaders to learn to engage each other on various issues that concern Zambians in order to diffuse tension amongst themselves.

In an interview, Dr Kalumba said any well-meaning government would accept to dialogue with political parties that believed in peaceful methods of taking on government.

He noted that political parties were formed by human beings who were prone to making mistakes but should always learn to communicate peacefully to correct mistakes.

He said that the main cause of violence in some political parties was failure to use a party as a mechanism for dialoguing in order to diffuse tension.

And Dr Kalumba urged opposition political parties not to perceive state institutions as their enemies, but as partners with the interest of Zambia at heart.

He accused opposition political parties of creating animosity between them and state institutions.

"The perception that state institutions such as the police will always be against you for belonging to an opposition party is wrong," Dr Katele said.

He explained that the police would always react angrily to acrimonious situations created by political parties and would always be peaceful when not provoked.

"You don't expect police to be peaceful towards you when you are violent; let political parties help police work well," Katele said.
Meanwhile, Dr Kalumba said UPND leaders resorting to violence during by-election campaigns did not understand the values on which the late Anderson Mazoka founded the opposition party.

Commenting on reports that some leaders in the UPND are planning to use the violence-anchored Mapatizya formula during the Livingstone parliamentary by-election campaigns, Kalumba said Mazoka never formed the party on the basis of violence but that of peace.

Kalumba said as a nationalist, Mazoka was a friend of every Zambian who believed in the unity of Zambia.

"My late brother Mazoka never gave room to violence. He was a firm believer of peace on which the UPND was premised," Dr Kalumba said.

Kalumba said some people within UPND failed to express reason and letting out opinions peacefully hence using violence to cope with political pressure.
"But no matter how much political pressure your party faces, leaders must learn to bring peace to the party circles," Dr Kalumba said.

"When you kick, beat or insult somebody, you must bear in mind that you will also be kicked. You don't need to kill each other because of politics, campaigns are not about kicking or beating each other but must be used as a mechanism to convince the electorate peacefully," Dr Kalumba said.

He also said late Mazoka never believed in Bantustan kind of ideologies which were aimed at propagating politics of regionalism.
He said Mazoka went to every part of Zambia and explained the UPND manifesto to all the provinces.

"He came to Luapula, went to Northern and other provinces and interacted with every Zambian because he never went into politics for the benefit of Southern Province alone but for the entire Zambia," said Dr Kalumba.


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