AFRICAN politics have a strange skin of personal hatred for those on the opposite side of the political power, a historical culture that has been breeding character assassination.
This was evident when late second Republican president Frederick Chiluba was elected president of Zambia in 1991 in the country’s first multi-party elections.
His detractors accused him of being a foreigner who originated from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where some of his elders were allegedly living.
When Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the first President of Zambia and one of the most respected statesmen of all times, was removed from power through the ballot box, he was taunted and accused of being a foreigner with parents having born in Malawi.
Infact, the enemies of Dr Kaunda argued that he should be prosecuted because when he had ruled the country for 27 years!
Today we have some elements irritatingly debating the loft assertion and misplaced talk surrounding President Edgar Lungu’s nationality, which was grossly unproductive in the greater Zambian public.
This was retrogressive to the aspirations of the country to score sustainable national development beneficial to the lives of the citizenry because since President Lungu ascended to power, no one had presented valid documents showing that Mr Lungu was a foreigner.
We support the call from the Government to ignore misplaced calls agitating confusion resulting from issues surrounding the nationality of President Lungu because they want to derail the country from concentrating on matters of national significance or promoting national unity.
Zambians should rally behind the concerns profoundly expressed by Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya who argues that it was tedious for some isolated individuals and institutions to question the President’s nationality yet he stood for elections on two previous separate occasions yet during that time no one raised the issue of nationality against him.
What had happened to those armchair critics when President Lungu stood for elections on two previous separate occasions? One wonders, where were they at that time only to raise the issue now?
That is a pertinent question because it reflects the depth of conceived personal hatred of those who are now busy raising irrelevant questions when Zambians are more concerned about issues of bread and butter.
It is only appropriate to quote Ms Siliya: “One of the requirements for a person to stand for president is that they must be Zambian, so this debate about President Lungu’s nationality is unproductive. Infact, some of us are quite privileged to know the village where the President hails from in Petauke (Eastern Province).”
Let us all forge ahead than waste time on political charlatans and other critics who are appear sponsored to dent the image of a working leadership.