OUR proverbial prophets of doom from the fountain of evil are at it again, but have been shamed.
There are people who thrive on intrigue, conflict and division. These should be disregarded. We must guard our national unity, that is based on constructive diversity.
It is difficult to believe that there was only one meeting between President Lungu and the chiefs in Southern Province, because two different accounts of the same event have been presented.
The State media including our own reporter who covered the meeting confirmed that the proceedings were cordial, constructive and positive in outcome.
But a different interpretation has been given that the meeting was deadlocked, acrimonious and ended inconclusively because the President did not acquiesce to the demand to dismiss his secretary general, Davis Chama and Deputy Mumbi Phiri, including Minister of Information and Chief government spokesman, Chishimba Kambwili.
We took the trouble to speak to Chief Macha who was supposed to have described as “nonsense”, the chiefs resolution to support President Edgar Lungu.
He categorically denied ever speaking to any reporter to whom he uttered such words or anything close to disparaging the meeting with the President.
We further took the trouble to speak to Chief Chikanta who equally denied assertions of a deadlock in the meeting, stating instead that the chiefs took the opportunity to discuss serious issues with the President and were hopeful that these would be resolved.
It is either the chiefs are lying or indeed the reports are deliberately malicious. We would rather believe the latter because the greater cause of national interest weighs towards harmony and peaceful resolution of differences.
As leaders themselves, we do not believe that the chiefs could have given an ultimatum to President Lungu nor indeed blackmailed him into dismissing his apparently erring associates in government and the party. This is not how leaders manage conflict nor indeed settle their differences.
The chiefs like many other people will have observed that the entire “tonga” conflict was reported in one medium, nurtured in the same medium and indeed fanned to a crescendo in the one medium that is intent on sowing seeds of hatred, division and conflict in the country.
We do not believe that chiefs would want to associate themselves with a destructive agenda that seeks to divide, but would rather be seen as building blocks that create a platform engendering harmony, goodwill and a common purpose.
We have only one country and unless all citizens exercise care, devotion and love, we can disintegrate into the small Bantustans that some negative interest groups would want us to degenerate into.
As a unitary and undivided nation we can confront and tackle the challenges that face us, natural or otherwise. In this mode we stand the chance to conquer and surmount the many difficulties we face. But divided and reading from different pages, we are not only bound to fail, but will inherently become a failed state like many other countries on the continent.
We have many examples to learn from and history will judge us very harshly if we allow people with interest to divide us.
Posterity has joined us to a common cause and a common agenda. Any attempt to pull this asunder will have disastrous consequences too ghastly to contemplate.