TIME for practicing primitive and intolerant politics is long gone and those in leadership should embrace smart politics that promote dialogue, former Works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti has said.
And Mr Mulongoti has said Zambians did not vote for President Michael Sata just to stay in State House and swear in his appointees but that his election was based on the many promises he made during the campaigns which are yet to be fulfilled.
Commenting on the current events in which the country has seen extreme intolerance from the Patriotic Front (PF) government and the use of State police against political opponents, Mr Mulongoti said President Sata should know that intimidation and primitivism were not the way to govern.
Mr Mulongoti observed that the frustrations people are talking about are real and genuine.
He said the PF government must know that it will not succeed by using oppression and intimidation because democracy shall always triumph.
Mr Mulongoti, who together with former Defence Minister George Mpombo strongly campaigned for President Sata said in an interview that time for bullying citizens so that a leader could win their loyalty was over.
He said what President Sata and the PF should know was that politics had moved on and it was important for the current leadership to know that democracy has come to stay.
He said it is unfortunate that while President Sata ascended to the presidency via democratic elections, the Head of State seems to have adopted an autocratic kind of attitude.
“The time to bully and massacre citizens is over. Time for practicing primitive politics is gone and now is the time for smart politics that promote dialogue. Those in leadership now must know that society is intolerant to strong men and is more tolerant to smart leaders,” Mr Mulongoti said.
Mr Mulongoti said the many young men and women who voted for Mr Sata and the PF last September could rise again and vote him out if they did not get what he promised them.
He has cautioned that the arrogance and intimidation being exhibited by the ruling party was a recipe for political anarchy and advised that the sooner President Sata and the PF realized that things were not well in the country, the better.
Mr Mulongoti condemned the manner in which government has handled the minimum wage saying that there was need for the leadership to have engaged in dialogue rather than dictating matters to employers.
“If you want to arrogantly dictate your decisions to the employers, you will be killing the goose that lays the golden egg. The relationship between the employer and the employee is mutual and government cannot set the two against each other. We are not saying people should not get decent pay but the way it has been handled is not correct,” Mr Mulongoti said.
Mr Mulongoti said Zambians were expecting him to call for a Press conference so that the head of state could address the nation on the numerous things that have happened since he assumed the presidency last September.
He said President Sata seldom appears in the public ever since he was elected yet he was considered man of the people when he was in the opposition.
President Sata has never called for a Press conference ever since he entered State House and does not take questions from journalists and is only seen when he is swearing in his appointees and receiving credentials from diplomats accredited to Zambia.
“We did not vote for him just to swear people at State House but to work and give direction and vision for the country. The major reason people voted for him was that they believed he could do better than other leaders.
“We hope he will appear to the public on September 22 so that we can physically see him. We want to visibly see and hear him speak,” Mr Mulongoti said