By ADRIAN MWANZA
Checks and balances did not mean being petty, nonsensical, unwise, or being “notoriously” nauseating, to criticise every little thing about the President, Movement for National Transformation (MNT) president Daniel Shimunza has said.
Dr Shimunza said most opposition leaders were persecuted and prosecuted, by the ruling parties.
Sadly, it had become normal, for opposition leaders, to be arrested and oppressed by the ruling parties.
He said President Hakainde Hichilema, was arrested as an opposition leader 15 times, and that threat of arrest continued during the last election campaigns, by the then incumbent President Edgar Lungu.
He said what was seen often was a non-constructive, petty, divisive, arrogant, fault-finding, insulting, cheap form of unfair commenting, tribal rhetoric, cadrerism, and violent opposition.
Dr Shimunza said opposition political parties, are the creation of the Republican Constitution, and must be respected and accepted by the ruling parties and should therefore play their rightful role.
Dr Shimunza said those in power, needed to treat the opposition as fellow citizens and as necessary colleagues and counterparts, in the democratic process of the nation.
He said the stability of any Presidency, was to have a credible and authentic opposition, to give it the much required checks and balances.
Sadly, he said, the opposition have also developed a petty and nauseating attitude of politics that engenders due to lack of respect, for the ruling parties.
Dr Shimunza said Zambian “politics” had not yet accepted, the Constitutional authentic and mature role of the opposition political parties. Mostly, in the past, the rivalry and adversarial stance against those in opposition, were not treated as being a creation of the constitution proper, with civility and respect, by the ruling parties.
“They were deemed, as enemies of the state. Our democracy, and Constitution demands the opposition’s existence,” he said.
“The Presidency, must be respected by all opposition, if they one day seek the office of the President. Presidents, come and go, but the Presidency, is a perpetual sovereign office. To disrespect the office, and causing it any disrepute, is a shame for anyone within, or without. Credible checks and balances, must be about credible alternatives, and restraints of possible or perceived; misrule, abuses, and constitutional illegalities of power. What you value, you attract,” he said.
Dr Shimunza said the role of ‘authentic’ political parties, was what Article (60) stipulated as governments in waiting, giving checks and balances, balancing of power, disseminating credible information, and participating in elections. This legitimises what constitutes authentic opposition political parties.