The ruling by the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini to suspend the 48 UPND Members of Parliament for 30 days from Parliament is not only sad and retrogressive but also a terrible irreparable damage and assault to our growing democracy.
The action by the Speakers leaves us without a choice but to conclude that his action is informed by the power based or confrontation approach to resolving conflict. This is where one wants to be the winner over others. This is very detrimental.
The current state of affairs in the nation required a more unifying approach to resolving any conflict including the one the UPND MPs may have caused in parliament and national as a whole.
What is essentially clear is that Parliament will in the next 30 days run on a one party participatory regime. Is this what Zambia and the majority Zambians want? The answer is no.
As an organization, Operation Young Vote (OYV) would like to appeal to the Speaker to urgently summon his full conscience to the matter and rescind his decision. It is never too late to do a good thing.
Zambia needs unifying decisions and actions now than ever before. The consensus based approach or problem solving approach is the best.
Zambia needs leaders that are going to, for the sake of the country, forgive others in order to foster unity, reconciliation and love.
There were complaints that, when the UPND MPs boycotted the Presidential address for those few hours in March, their constituencies and Zambians generally suffered lack of representation.
Honestly speaking, is the 30 days suspension going to bring back that loss? Is the 30 days suspension a solution? Is it going to heal? This is hypocritical to say the least. Zambia deserves better.
OYV is of the considered view that the much needed reconciliation and healing in the country can start from parliament and the Speaker (with the help of other stakeholders – i.e. the church leaders, Civil Society leaders among others) must champion this cause and not doing the very opposite. Cry our beloved Zambia.
Guess Nyirenda (Mr.)
Executive Director OPERATION YOUNG VOT