It is becoming very clear that some politicians are mere crybabies who cannot stand the tempo of robust political debate and discourse.
They are willing to criticise in strident terms but wilt and resort to litigation when confronted by equally robust rebuttal. In the process, we as a newspaper, find ourselves as crucified messengers.
It is becoming very clear that some politicians with thin skins have no gumption, capacity let alone stomach to countenance the robust debate that politics in a democratic society demand.
That is why we applaud the Kasama Magistrate who acquitted Alliance for Better Zambia(ABZ) President Fr. Frank Bwalya.
He hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that politics was much more than an exchange of innocous exchange of pleasantries. It is an adversorial exchange, that is demanding and at times brutal exchange of views.
It will not do for politicans who cannot argue with their peers and contemporaries to resort to courts of law to penalise and make profit from courts of law. Politics is an exercise of wit, intelligence and sometimes absolute brutality in order to drive a message and point home against an opposing party.
In short the Magistrate advised politicians who cannot stand the heat to keep out of the kitchen.
We are getting fed up with some litigous politicians who are forever seeking court intervention to protect their thin skins, seeking huge sums of money for libel suits, because the people they insulted or demeaned dished out in equal measure.
With the political temperature rising by the day as Zambians approach 2016 which is an election year, it is common knowledge that politicians will increasingly become so media sensitive with what is written or said about them.
While some politicians will be careful with their words in an attempt to avoid injuring their electorate who will eventually decide their political fate either at local government or parliamentary level, some will be so careless with the use of words such that they will injure their political competitors.
For those who are eyeing the hot seat of President of Zambia, their sensitivity will also be so heighened as they wouldn’t like anybody to mess up their chances in the 2016 elections.
While some politicians may appear to be friendly to the media when their messages are disseminated, they will certainly become unfriendly when something negative is written against them.
Some politicians will be forgeting they uttered negatives against their collegaues and will start blaming the media for giving a voice to their political opponent who would have only used the same media to respond.
The politicains would forget the primary role of the media as being a messenger and would proceed to shoot the bearer of the messages.
The politicians who are in the habit of “Shooting the messenger” should start evaluating their actions so that they do not stifle the media with their sometimes unreasonable litigation which carry along journalists.
We are not against law suits moved by politicians injured by the media, but is it right for a politician to litigate on a matter one started which has simply attracted a reaction? Is it necessary to include journalists who were simply providing a platform?
Over the years, we have come to learn that in our midst are some politicians who would like to use the media to injure their colleagues but would disparage the media when space is given to their political opponents to react.
This is not in the interest and growth of the democracy in Zambia as such practice drives fear in the media to give equal space to political opponents.
Politicians should learn to sort out their political differences on their own instead of infringing on the rights of the media to exercise their freedom .
The job of the media is to give equal access and space to political competitors so that the public is allowed to make informed choices and nothing should stand in their way as long as accurancy and fairness is observed.
As we have said, politicians should not in the months to come, scheme to stifle the media, which they will again need for their messages to the public as they seek public office.
Poiticians who have an insatiable appetite for litigiation should heed the old saying;’If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen’.