By Bright Chikele:
THERE is a real possibility that the UPND can win the August general elections and the ruling Patriotic Front leadership should be magnanimous enough to accept the outcome of the elections, Edward Mumbi has said.
Mr Mumbi, the UPND presidential spokesperson, said Zambia had been known as a peaceful country which has had successful elections and transitions over the years and it was important to guard the political tradition during this year’s election.
Mr Mumbi said in an interview that first republican president Kenneth Kaunda had set the tone by humbly accepting defeat at the hands of the MMD in 1991 while former president Rupiah Banda respected the will of Zambians just after ruling for three years and that the trend should continue.
He said the PF leadership should know and understand that there shall always be a winner and a loser in every political contest and that there was no need that the country’s peace was dashed on account of leaders wanting to cling to power even after the people they governed wanted leadership change.
He said it would be defying political correctness for any political party taking part in the forthcoming general elections not to be ready to lose the election because Zambians would only give their mandate to govern the country to one particular leader at a time.
‘‘We cannot afford to plunge Zambia into chaos just because a leadership wants to cling to power even after citizens have decided to change leadership.
“It is our expectation that the PF will have the capacity and humility of extending a congratulatory hand to the UPND which is likely to be the next government. We only have one Zambia and we still have Dr Kaunda and former president Banda who humbly and graciously accepted the verdict of the people they were leading and we respect them,” Mr Mumbi said.
Mr Mumbi, however, warned that with the escalating violence in the country, there was a danger that political rapture would not be too far away.
He cautioned that while it was easy to start civil war in a country, the political leadership both the governing and the opposition should know that it was not an easy thing to end civil strife.