Thursday, May 09, 2013

FODEP condemns opposition's unmerited criticism of govt
By Moses Kuwema
Wed 08 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

FOUNDATION for Democratic Process (FODEP) president Alex Ng'oma says the opposition political parties must avoid creating a permanent state of conflict as a way of discrediting the government.

Commenting on justice minister Wynter Kabimba's statement that those who remain in opposition after losing an election must accept defeat and should not pretend that they won the elections, Ng'oma said it was unacceptable for the opposition to constantly discredit the government even when they do positive things.

"It is important for all the people to understand that in any electoral cycle, there can only be one winner, either in the name of a political candidate or in the name of the party. Those that come out victorious must be congratulated and given an opportunity to function as winners since they have the mandate in their hands to serve the people of Zambia. On the other hand, those who lose elections and go into the opposition must also accept the reality that they have lost the elections," said Ng'oma.

Ng'oma said the opposition must learn to support those that have been given the mandate by the people of Zambia to function properly.
He said the tendency of undermining the government of the day by discrediting everything they do was detrimental to democracy.

"It does not work to the best interest of the people that are being represented. There has to be, after elections, what I would call unity of purpose to support those that have won and give them the chance to function to serve the people of Zambia," he said.

Ng'oma said the opposition in the country appeared to believe that for a person to get to State House, they should constantly attack the party in government by discrediting everything they do without being objective or realistic.

"That is the kind of political game being played in this country.
Zambian opposition should take a leaf from American politics, where if a candidate loses an election, he appeals to his supporters to support the person who has won," said Ng'oma.

Responding to a presentation by South Africa-based Professor Michelo Hansungule during the Law Association of Zambia second annual law conference at Zambezi Sun Hotel in Livingstone on Thursday, in which Hansungule was advising the ruling PF against fighting the opposition, saying that would hinder the development agenda, Kabimba, who is justice minister, said leaders should not steep into the spirit of impunity but ought to be cautious and break it.

"The impunity of trying to intimidate others can revisit you or can grow into a culture. We ought to tame that as leaders. We also have to ensure that those who remain in the opposition after losing must also accept defeat. Don't pretend that you have won. We must ensure that the losers accept that they have lost and the winners must not oppress the losers but include them in the governance system," said Kabimba.

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