The past two days, Acting President Guy Scott has been marvellous.
We wish he had always been like this even when he was ceremonial vice-president. We are abundantly impressed by his pledge that he will ensure that the next president is elected in a fair and credible manner. This is what we have always advocated for: fairness and credibility.
Guy Scott can use his remaining 79 days in office positively and create an everlasting impression on the majority of Zambians. We believe that a good man can do more wonders and greater things in a day or 90 days that an evil leader can ever do in five years.
And for Scott, there is one thing he can do in his short tenure of office that he can build his legacy on. It is to preside over a credible presidential by-election. Scott is in a unique but powerful position to deliver this. As acting president who is not contesting, Scott can afford to be neutral in these elections. By neutral we do not mean being aloof. We mean neutrality in the positive sense of making sure that competitors have a balanced playing field. We mean, presidential hopefuls are given equal coverage by the government-controlled media. We want to see presidential candidates debate or other wise appear on ZNBC to talk about their programmes for Zambia. We want ZNBC staff to interview candidates live so that they tell us about their backgrounds, where they worked before and why they left and which schools they attended. It is important for us lesser mortals to know full information about our rulers. This is 2014 not 1420 after all.
Guy Scott as acting and neutral president can see to it that no candidate abuses public funds by using taxpayers money to campaign. If one candidate will be allowed to use ZAF choppers to reach the remotest parts of the country, then it is fair and just that all other candidates are availed the same facilities.
We are also impressed by Scott’s direction that the PF should follow their constitution to elect a candidate. We are however also disappointed like most people that the PF will use State House to hold party meetings. We implore Scott to do one more good thing and take the PF meeting to the PF secretariat. He can actually host the meeting atb his farm, after all he is the boss of PF. Let is respect State House. That place should not be defiled by partisan congregations. It reduces its status.
Scott is right to say that the PF should go to the general conference to elect their president. That is what their party supreme law says.
We are surprised that lawyers like Edgar Lungu are in the forefront advocating the breaching of the party’s internal regulations. What kind of lawyer is Lungu who has no respect for the law? Is it not that type of attitude towards the law that triggered the Law Association of Zambia to revoke his practicing licence?
Is it not a shame that Lungu should be encouraged by people like Chishimba Kambwili to respect the law? Yet he is the one who claims to be lawyer; an officer of the law.
What exactly is Lungu avoiding at the convention?
He talks about lack of time and the need to save resources. This is just an excuse. The PF as a party should have prepared for such eventualities and saved money for the purpose. A party conference takes a maximum two days so they can hold it next weekend.
The real reason however is that Lungu fears that his rivals will bribe delegates. He feels that the presidency will go to the highest bidder. We agree that bribing delegates is wrong and should ever be tolerated. But that reason is not good enough to abrogate the law of the party. Breaching the party constitution is as bad as bribing delegates.
Who is worse: the one who bribes voters to win or the secretary general who tampers with the constitution to ensure that he is elected by?
Besides, it is not anybody’s faulty that Lungu is the lowest bidder in the PF.
Lungu should stop being a cry-baby. He must for once stand as a man and face his opponents. Instead of competing with female mourners from city market to mourn loud (maybe he was drunk), Lungu should provide leadership to his followers.
To prove his critics wrong, he must allow a general conference. He must go through a competitive process and emerge winner.
Otherwise people will continue seeing him as a weakling; as the man who was bullied to giving up power to Scott before he went to the stadium to break down like….