UPND should accept defeat – Chikwanda


 THE UPND has exhausted the permissible constitutional means of redressing their electoral grievances and now is time for magnanimity and for them to decently accept defeat, Alexander Chikwanda has said.

Mr Chikwanda, who is former Minister of Finance, has advised the UPND to avoid ‘‘stretching their luck’’ which he said was a fortuitous event that could neither be ordained nor guaranteed but should begin working towards its future endeavours.

Mr Chikwanda said Zambia as a country had a vast backlog of development arrears and that all efforts should now be concentrated on bridging the ‘‘yawning gap between the very few haves and the very many have-nots’’ instead of investing energies in what he termed ephemeral events.

Mr Chikwanda said introspection was a virtue and strength and that the UPND’s public interest with its plausible aim and ambition to be entrusted with the onerous task of presiding over the fate and destiny of the people should accept that the country was bigger than their egos and interests.

He said there was always a compelling need to assign primacy to the composite and collective interests of the country and it was, therefore, imperative that all public institutions should foster the moral imperative of service before self.

Mr Chikwanda said poverty eradication would transcend the most dazzling form of rhetoric and that the Patriotic Front (PF) drew the country to the truth of unprecedented development agenda which he said had been undeniably transformative.

“Africa remains the least developed continent in the global league. The two biggest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria and South Africa, have a combined GDP just a little bigger than the Netherlands, a small European country with a population of 17 million.

“As Zambia, we have a vast backlog of developmental arrears and those of us at the helm of public interest with a plausible aim and ambition to be entrusted with the onerous task of presiding over the fate and destiny of people have to accept that the country is bigger than our individual egos and interests.  ‘‘The losing major opposition party has exhausted the permissible constitutional means of redress of their grievances and now is the time for magnanimity of decently accepting defeat and begin working towards future endeavours,” Mr Chikwanda said.

Mr Chikwanda said the brutalities of the post-election period had been a palpably traumatizing event to Zambians with the semblance of humanity and sanity.

He said the violence inflicted on innocent citizens and wanton destruction of markets, houses and public buildings had left a widespread feeling that the ideal norm of ‘‘One Zambia, One Nation’’ was anchored on ‘‘heroic euphoric assumptions with precarious sustainability’’.

Mr Chikwanda said the crusade to keep Zambia meaningfully and sustainably together had become a pressing and an inescapable imperative to which all Zambians should rise to a moral equivalent of war.

He stated that large segments of the Zambian society were rattled by the violence of the post-election period in the last three weeks primarily because of the unacceptable incidences shrouded in spates of hatred and hostilities.

“President Lungu has set a good example of not discarding occupancy of the moral high ground even under the most extreme pressures. When he visited the destroyed markets in Bauleni, we all could see his pain and anguish and even anger in his expressions.

‘‘He, however, steadfastly maintained composure and level headedness, remaining adamant and emphatic on ‘One Zambia, One Nation.’ We should all join him in this crusade which entails transformation of mind sets especially in areas poisoned by abominable prejudices,” Mr Chikwanda said.

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