Fragile edifice

 

That UPND Members of Parliament went to the house with the intention of voting down the Constitution Amendment Bill became apparent   during the debate and after the two votes taken.

The bill went through with the narrowest of votes and all because opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Members of Parliament put aside their partisan interest to support a national cause.

In the debate prior to the vote we were victims of a vicious tirade from UPND MPs who accused us of prejudging them on account of publishing a story that suggested that they were intent on shooting down the constitutional bill.

The attack against us was uncalled for, gratuitous and ill informed. As a newspaper our task is to serve as a credible platform for all political actors. In this regard we reported the sentiments of PF Media Committee member Brian Hapunda who declared that it was betrayal of the worst order for the UPND to shoot down the constitutional bill and therefore derail the constitution making process.

We did not say this; we were simply reporting what an official from the PF said.

We were however surprised by the ferocity of attacks levelled against us to a point where colleagues with whom we shared trenches were prepared to borrow and quote from the pejorative terms used against us by a media house that labelled them as a Bantustan.

For exigency, convenience and for the purpose of attacking us they were prepared to share a platform with this media house.

This was pathetic.

The tirade against us was uncalled for. Unlike other media we do not fabricate news. We do not hold preconceived views about issues, individuals or political parties. We report news from all sources, because we value our role as an independent platform. We have no reason to be hostile to Government or indeed opposition parties because we share a common value and interest in national identity and development.

When we take any position on any matter, this is clearly indicated as an opinion and invariably will be in our editorial column.

In our line of work, professionalism demands that we separate between our opinion as a newspaper and the information that we report as objective news reports. Our editorial policy compels us to report all political parties on the basis of the substance and importance of the information they provide us.

There are indeed times when we have taken a position on the Constitution, and the constitution-making process. Our view has always been that the Constitution was not a priority, given the severe economic crisis that our country is facing. We found the drive for a referendum misplaced and an extravagant expectation.

One thought on “Fragile edifice

  1. Democracy entails pluralism. Democracy entails majority rule. Democracy also entails organized opposition to counter excesses of power. When opposition UPND adopts a contrary view to governing PF, then democracy is working. The harmonious relationship between the UNPD and civil society and various interest groups is the envy of all anti-democratic elements in this country. Governments become dictatorial because of complacency. Dictatorial tendencies are instinctive and irresistible. The only way to overcome dictatorial tendencies is to oppose them consistently. LAZ, CCZ, NGOCC, JCTR and other interest groups are democratic forces in the country. They deserve respect.

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