Saunders counsels opposition parties

IT will be difficult to vote the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) out of  government if the opposition political parties will not resolve their current weaknesses, says political activist Dante Saunders.

Mr Saunders said there was need to find mechanisms that ensured that elections in the country worked to the advantage of competing political sides.

He was concerned about the involvement of government officials in campaigns using State machinery which had worked to the disadvantage of the opposition.

Mr Saunders said it was up to the opposition to market themselves and tell the electorate what they intended to do when elected into power.

“Every politician knows the challenges and weaknesses faced by the opposition parties in the country, but that does not mean that they should sit and watch political events because their presence in the political arena is vital,” he said.

Mr Saunders said the fact that governmental officials were engaged in campaigns at the expense of delivering services was a source of worry.

“What do you expect from our citizens out there, each time there are elections government officials are in the forefront with all sorts of materials to lure them to vote for their people, and these are some of the things which should prompt the people of Zambia to have a new constitution,” he said.

Mr Saunders called on opposition leaders not to relax but to offer checks and balances to the government, if their existence was to be meaningful. He alleged the PF victory in the just ended parliamentary by-elections in five constituencies was not convincing because PF had everything in terms of resources.

“The victory is not all about popularity but that the government is using its incumbency otherwise there is no developmental projects initiated by the PF government that can make them feel proud and convince the people of Zambia,” Mr Saunders said. He said it was not too late for the opposition political parties to pull up and regain popularity in the areas where the PF appeared to be popular, but that they should familiarize with people in all parts of the country.