IT is totally disingenuous, uncouth and fallacious for Cornelius Mweetwa to attempt diversionary rhetoric in support of his despicable utterance against Vice President Inonge Wina.
To doubt the mental capacity of the Vice President was not only in bad taste but a provocation that has predictably attracted condemnation from all well-meaning Zambians.
No amount of prevarication will atone the grave disrespect shown to the VP, a respected mother, grandmother and indeed woman of substance, which Mweetwa can hardly match.
Any student in rhetoric, which most lawyers are, know that ad hominen argumentation, which attacks the person than the issue at hand is only employed when an adversary has unassailable arguments. Instead of arguing the relevant issue, or ad rem, you attack the person, or aspects of the person.
It is insulting for Mweetwa to champion himself as a defender of freedom of speech and indeed a custodian of youth interests. He is just a spoilt, manner less child.
Zambians are not fools. You may indeed fool a few people for a while, but you cannot fool the Speaker and other people who understand these modes of argumentation.
You insulted the VP in her personal capacity, in an ad hominenmode, meaning that you departed from the issue at hand and referred to the VP in an irreverent manner, deprecating her mental capacity as being shallow. You would have made your point by stating that the VP was wrong, but to ascribe untoward characteristic of her person was downright mean, wrong and unconscionable.
It is this irreverence that has shocked many Zambians who know the VP as an articulate woman of substance of very good standing as demonstrated by her ability to lead the business of the house in demonstrable excellence, sometimes even remaining cool in highly provocative circumstances.
Calling her shallow is an insult.
You may not agree with what she said, but to attribute this to a mental disability begs the argument, more so that you have not advanced any fresh knowledge or information on the gassing problem.
The VP may indeed have alluded to opposition collusion in gassing, perhaps informed by privileged knowledge. A number of people are appearing in courts of law and Mweetwa as a lawyer must appreciate the rule of subjudice, which precludes discussion of such matters.
Why indeed did Mweetwa take it upon himself as a UPND member to respond to the VP when there are more than 40 opposition parties in the country? Is there something he knows?
We have said this before and would like to repeat that the vacuous nature of our political discourse is frightening because it is premised on mob psychology bereft of substance. This is the case of Bill 10 that is now caught up in political rhetoric. There is absolutely no regard for substance.
While Mweetwa was using a style of argumentation, hundreds of his followers on social media cheered him on as a hero and champion of the oppressed.
For good measure, and in response to the adoring crowd that attended the Press briefing, Mweetwa added that, he would only apologize if the VP apologized for allegedly misleading the nation regarding the gassing. This is asinine.
The VP represents an institution, the executive. She does not represent herself but works on information provided to her by the many arms of Government that she represents.
Therefore, singling out and insulting, an elderly lady, mother and grandmother, shows a serious lack of manners, requiring a rigorous lecture from alangizi. In Africa, we respect age and authority.
Equally, walking out on the speaker after refusing to accept guidance is itself another display of impudence and arrogance which must be discouraged if good order is to be inculcated in politics.