Renowned veteran politician and former diplomat, Vernon Mwaanga, is urging fellow Zambians to actively contribute towards the promotion of national peace and development. In a recent statement, Dr. Mwaanga emphasized the critical role of peace in Zambia’s pursuit of economic development and called on citizens to work collectively towards this common goal.
Highlighting the importance of peace as a foundation for progress, Dr. Mwaanga stressed that national peace is not just a given but must be actively pursued and maintained by the citizens. He underscored the need for constructive dialogue and lamented the apparent lack of recognition of its value among the new generation of politicians.
“We fought very hard to get rid of colonialism. We worked very hard to ensure that ‘one Zambia, one Nation’ remained our national motto. We have maintained good neighborliness with all the eight countries around us since our independence in October 1964. Our new generation of politicians is failing to understand and recognize the value of dialogue. Our politicians have opted to talk at each other but not to each other,” expressed Dr. Mwaanga.
Drawing from his experiences, Dr. Mwaanga highlighted the significance of dialogue and understanding diverse perspectives. He recalled the establishment of the Center for Inter-Party Dialogue during his generation, emphasizing its role in providing a platform for political parties to freely discuss matters of concern.
“In any free and diverse political environment, the difference of opinion is inevitable. Respect for each other’s opinions is vital. Civil discourse usually leads to finding common ground, which then produces compromises,” Dr. Mwaanga explained.
The veteran politician urged for civility in political discourse, emphasizing the importance of respectful disagreement and the recognition that differing opinions do not necessarily lead to hostility. He emphasized that fostering a peaceful political environment is crucial for economic growth and the well-being of the nation.
As Zambia faces the challenges of rebuilding its economy, Dr. Mwaanga emphasized the necessity of a peaceful political atmosphere. He called on all political parties to commit themselves to non-violence and ensure that this commitment reaches their supporters.
“There is nowhere in this world where there are no disagreements among people. We must also be cognizant of the fact that, in all the older and nascent democracies, people and institutions function within the laws on their statutes. Lawlessness is not synonymous with democracy. We all have a duty to help create an environment where our children and children’s children will live in peace and harmony,” Dr. Mwaanga concluded.
His words serve as a reminder of the responsibility each citizen holds in shaping the nation’s future, underscoring the importance of fostering an environment conducive to dialogue, understanding, and national unity.