The boycott of President Edgar Lungu's address by opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Members of Parliament on Friday takes the country several strides backwards.
The UPND has taken the country back to where it was when the opposition MPs boycotted parliament and were censured by Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini.
On December 22, 2016 UPND Chief Whip Garry Nkombo apologized to the House for breach of parliamentary procedure and etiquette. Nkombo and his lieutenants pleaded for leniency and promised not to be disrespectful to the house.
This was after 54 MPs were found guilty after they had shunned President Lungu's opening of parliament on 30th September 2016.
Barely three months have passed the UPND is back at it with their act coming out of the blues. It is a kind of confrontation they could have done without.
Nobody denies that they are an aggrieved party given the outcome of the August 11 elections. But to want to grind the entire country to a halt just to ensure that things are tilted your way smacks of recklessness. Why should it be so important that they convince everyone that they won the elections when the count was declared otherwise? Is it good politics to open up so many war fronts? Do they really have to be quarrelsome all the time? What was the point of absconding parliament? Does it bring their leader Hakainde Hichilema any closer to State House than he was before the boycott?
On one hand they have been scandalizing the courts of law labelling them corrupt and incompetent and on the other they are clinging on to their belief that the court has to give them justice. Have they not called the court corrupt?
They have scandalized the Constitutional Court, demonized High Court judges handling their cases and even taken their war to police officers providing security at court hearings. What do they expect society to do when they are all over town picking fights with everyone? Will it not be more productive for them to get down working and looking forward to 2021 with more preparedness? Why not just save up the resources and share with the poor than pouring them on top drawer lawyers? Why is it so important that Hichilema gets to State House? There is even an impression that Hichilema going to State House will be a favour for Zambians.
If Hichilema wants to be President of this country, let him come through the front door. If it is written that he will be President, then he will be President but he has to be ready to work for it through winning over the electorates and not intimidating anything in his way. Otherwise that act by UPND parliamentarians was out of order.