Elder statesman, Vernon Mwaanga, says violence, hate speeches, offensive language and bitterness should be confined to the dustbin of the country’s history.
Mwaanga who served in president Kenneth Kaunda’s regime and the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) administration has expresed concern about the declining levels of civility in politics.
He said the language being used by some politicians was disturbing, disgraceful, distasteful and derogatory.
Mwaanga in a statement issued in Lusaka on Wednesday said increasingly, the public was made to endure intensely negative public discourse that abuses, demeans and vilifies others.
“This sad development should not be allowed to continue as it undermines the country’s democratic credentials and disrespects ancestors who sacrificed so much for Zambians to free from the yoke of colonialism,” he said.
Mwaanga said through public discourse and using existing institutions such as the Center for Inter-Party Dialogue, Zambians want to hear politicians discuss policy options in a civil manner.
He noted the need for politicians to start coming up with possible solutions to the country’s problems, for the public good especially that crudity reduces the level of seriousness.
“Some politicians I have talked to, think that by using crude language, it enhances their popularity and attracts new members to their respective political parties,” Mwaanga said.
He said on the contrary, they scare young people and others, who may want to join active politics and make a meaningful contribution to the country’s advancement.
Mwaanga said in this age of advanced technology, comments made in public space, quickly spread worldwide through social media.
“How can we teach our children, grandchildren great grandchildren, to respect others, when they are able to listen and read about the foul language being used by their elders,” he said.
Mwaanga appealed to politicians to desist from offensive personal attacks and focus on issues.
“In our beautiful and beloved Zambia, there should be no room for vitriolic discourse. They undermine democratic values, which we fought for,” he said.
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