ZAMBIANS must respect the local democratic institutions rather than degrading them, veteran politician, Katele Kalumba has advised political leaders.
Dr Kalumba has thus advised UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, to channel his concerns over the electoral process to local institutions.
He said it was absurd for Mr Hichilema to take his complaints against the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) on the voter registration process to the Southern Africa Development Commission (SADC) and African Union (AU).
Dr Kalumba said in an interview that there would be confusion in the country if opposition political leaders began to degrade the institutions that have constitutionally been put in place by the Zambians who include politicians.
He said it was unfortunate that Mr Hichilema decided to write to SADC and AU over his complaints against the ECZ regarding the voter registration process.
Dr Kalumba, a former Finance Minister, said the matter could have been resolved by institutions such as the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID).
Dr Kalumba urged Mr Hichilema to avoid the habit of degrading constitutional authorities among them the ECZ, Judiciary, Zambia Police Service and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) as doing so would be detrimental to the democratic tenets of the nation.
“Let me speak to HH directly through you. My young brother, I know you and you know me, respect the law, if you win you win by the will of the Zambian people. If you lose you lose by the will of the Zambian people, it’s not about I come from here, it’s about your leadership.
“Let me say it in Bemba “baleeke ukutonawila icalo, twalibashiila intact, we never left the country in chaos or war, ninshi kanshi, why go to SADC, we have our laws as a nation, don’t start things that you know you can’t control, we have border issues to deal with, nishani,” he said.
Dr Kalumba advised the UPND leader to guard against politics of false accusations and have trust in the electoral body which he said has a system that allows grieved political parties to air their grievances.
He stated that Zambia would not be a governable state if political players develop a habit of degrading the democratic institutions they helped put in place.