UPND’s revolution criminal

IT is criminal and an illegality for the UPND to call for a revolution as a way of protesting the re-election of President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front.

Why should the UPND think of calling for a revolution against a legitimately elected Government? In whose interest is such a revolution?

We think that the call by the UPND vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) on the party membership to revolt against the Government is a misplaced priority on their agenda.

Zambia is a democratic nation which uses the ballot to determine how leaders and governments are ushered into power, entailing the holding of regular elections.

And the UPND must be reminded that since the dawn of multi-partyism in 1991, Zambians have freely and fairly acknowledged the ballot box as the legally acceptable norm of regime change.

Over the years, there has been smooth transition of power from one political party to the other. This has been possible on account of the respect for democratic tenets and values.

The political party and its leadership that emerge victorious have been gracious enough to accommodate the opposition political parties to foster a continuous conducive political atmosphere to enable democracy flourish.

On the other hand, the losing political parties, despite the anguish of the loss, have been magnanimous enough to concede defeat with dignity after each electoral contest.

The first Republican President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, demonstrated true statesmanship when he handed over the reins of power to Dr Frederick Chiluba, which same spirit was exhibited in 2011 when PF won the elections by a landslide victory.

The UPND must learn to be good losers if they are to remain relevant to Zambia’s politics particularly that they exhausted all legal channels of challenging the outcome of the August 11 general election.

As a party, the UPND had petitioned the re-election of President Edgar Lungu through the Constitutional Court and later rushed to both the High Court and Supreme Court after their petition was dismissed for want of prosecution, but to no avail.

There is need to respect court decisions regardless of the outcome therefrom.

Time for introspection has come. Hard decisions such as the UPND holding a convention cannot be the sole preserve of an individual. It must be a collective resolution of the National Executive Committee or National Management Committee of the party.

Utterances to the contrary by Mr Mwamba are quite hollow and at variance with the views of the general leadership of the party.

The rebuttal from the UPND vice-president for political affairs Dr Canisius Banda is a mere tip of the ice-berg but gives a clear insight of the dictatorial traits creeping into the party in the wake of the probable leadership vacuum lying ahead.

In fact, faliure by the UPND to hold a convention would be tantamount to violating Article 60 (1) (d) of the Republican Constitution which espouses promotion and practice of democracy through regular, free and fair elections within the political party.

We concur with Dr Banda that Mr Mwamba has neither express nor implied authority to issue a statement against the holding of a party convention. Similarly, Mr Mwamba has no legal right to call for a revolt against the legitimately elected government. Doing so is criminal and punishable offence by courts of law.

However, Mr Mwamba’s outbursts do not surprise us knowing that he does not seem to have understanding, let alone belief, in democracy, hence calling for unconventional means of displaying displeasure.

But lawlessness has its own consequences.