WE will have ourselves to blame if we succumb to the hate speech that is threatening to undermine the rule of law and democracy in this country.
Clearly the third force is intent on abusing the media to foment disaffection, hatred and disregard to democratically established norms. Hate speech cannot be equated to free speech because it is intended to incite violence or prejudicial action against an individual or group because it does not only disparage but also panders to a stereotype characterization of the subject.
Many countries in the world have penalized hate speech which is intended to disparage and denigrate individuals or a group of individuals on account of their attributes-physical, political, racial or otherwise.
It is informative that individuals that have tried their hand at the polls and have failed miserably after being rejected by the Zambian people should now claim to speak for the same people. These people have joined forces in the dubious quest of freedom of expression to express unbridled hatred and disregard for elected representatives of the people.
It is one thing to offer constructive criticism and yet another to openly disparage often without cogent cause.
The perpetrators are labouring under an illusion that with sustained negative propaganda the Lungu administration will be removed from office next year, thereby earning them a reprieve from the financial and legal burdens they are confronted with.
This is a fallacy.
Firstly Zambians can see through the bitterness, angst and desperation to seek regime change at any cost without regard to the prevailing political climate. This cannot by any stretch of imagination serve as a good and justifiable reason for regime change.
Zambians have recently voted Edgar Chagwa Lungu into office and they are yet to test his mettle and will not accept propaganda that is patently contrived against him. They still have to determine his ability. They know he has inherited a raft of policy initiatives which he cannot wish away, or may do so at tremendous political and financial cost.
President Michael Sata was a firm believer in massive infrastructure development. This is manifest from the many districts and giant infrastructure programmes which are at various stages of construction. These cannot be abandoned as doing so will create lasting financial liabilities which Government will be forced to honour.
As for Ms Nawakwi, much as we may not like, there is a level of “political misogyny” in our society which does not take kindly to the belligerent language that has become her trademark. It repulses people including the few that may have voted for her in the last elections.
She must also be mindful that having served in Government, a number of people have “access” to information that may not stand her in very good stead.
The savage and crude campaigns are not serving any purpose apart from engendering negative energy in the nation at a time when we should be working towards consolidating our efforts to overcome such challenges as the energy crisis that is god made.