It is a great pity that our new Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dr. Joseph Katema, who is also Chief Government Spokesman, is quickly being drawn into debating individuals rather than issues.
Instead of debating the stories we publish, he chooses to warn us with legal suits that will sink us as a newspaper.
It is always tempting to trivialize issues by debating individuals rather than the concerns which confront the people of Zambia.
This mode of debate is responsible for the gulf between Government and the people. It is this gulf which leads Governments into losing power because they listen to themselves and begin to accept their own propaganda as Gospel truth.
We would like to suggest to Dr. Katema that it is time that Government raised its quality of public debate in order to be informative, educative and more importantly to allay the growing fears that Government lacks vision and strategy to tackle problems that the country is facing.
For example we would like to assure Dr. Katema that contrary to the impression Government wants to convey that HH is a caricature without consequence, he is being taken seriously by Zambians because of the issues that he has been articulating.
The tribal card is also losing meaning because the current regime has not been exemplary in this regard. If HH will decide to fill all diplomatic and senior positions in Government with his tribesmen, we shall condemn him in the same manner we have done with this regime.
It is true that UPND has a regional bias but so does the PF. Therefore repeating that HH is a tribalist, because he is Tonga, does not make much sense. Suffice to state that we have known many non Tonga tribalists whose deeds are testimony of their appellation.
Zambia is a unitary state in which all citizens enjoy equal status. All citizens have equal rights to STATE HOUSE. Nobody can be stopped because of the accident of their birth and any attempts to campaign in this manner must be treated with the contempt it deserves.
The new breed of Zambians knows no tribe, they believe in merit, logic and ability. Many belong to multi tribal families where ethnic purity has been lost. This does not make them any less Zambian.
Therefore all Zambians must prepare for the eventuality of a Tonga President, who might even outperform all previous Presidents.
The Government must respond to pressing matters including the rising prices of mealie meal, high indebtedness and the ever rising levels of un-employment as more youths graduate from universities and other tertiary institutions.
Instead of discussing people Government must debate issues. Better still let the party discuss organizational matters.