The inevitable has happened.
It did not require a rocket scientific to figure out that violence would erupt on the Copperbelt.
The tragedy is that ordinary Zambians were ready to maim and injure each other over circumstances created by people well beyond the shore of this country.
Copperbelt is a powder keg, created in main by the massive layoffs created by such companies as Mopani Copper Mines who have no heart for the ordinary Zambian.
Other mining companies including KCM have taken a route of social responsibility by avoiding layoffs although haemorrhaging to the extent of US$2million a month.
Tempers are high and emotions volatile. It is the worst time to preach any message of “false” salvation because the situation Zambians are confronting , regardless of party affiliation are not the creation of political incompetence but of commercial intent. Glencore the parent company of Mopani has huge commercial debts which have compelled it to undertake survival measures in which the Zambian miner is not a factor.
It is in these troubled waters that the opposition sought to fish even after motherly advice from Vice President Inonge Wina, who called for caution and temperance.
Inevitably violence was the outcome.
The Patriotic Front and the United Party for National Development cadres fought and injured each other in a show of strength and popularity and to determine who controls the Copperbelt.
Some cadres were injured while others even lost property.
This is what confrontational politics does. It takes away from the menu of democracy which promotes co-existence and tolerance.
Confrontational politics are unnecessary as they discourage debate and the exchange of ideas.
Instead of political players competing on the platform of civilised debate, the electorate is left in fear and dread of what a political party would do if elected into power.
This is the reason why we thought when Vice President Inonge Wina advised against inflaming the volatile situation on the Copperbelt because of the challenges the mines were going through, political leaders should have taken the counsel with the seriousness it deserved.
United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema openly rubbished the counsel and vowed to go-head with his meetings on the Copperbelt daring anyone to stop him.
The motive was clearly to decampaign the ruling party and blame it for the problems being experienced thereby creating despondency and disaffection for issues that are in the large part outside the control of government.
The jobs cuts in mines are not only being lost in Zambia but also in other countries which are into mining because of poor levels of business.
If politicians are not feeding our miners with the correct information regarding the challenges in the mining sector the world over, the consequences might be dire if they assumed power with the mistaken belief that the underperforming in the sector is surmountable in the short run.
The truth is that there are no quick fix solutions to the challenges that Zambia is experiencing in the mining sector.
In saying this, we are not in any way advising Mr Hichilema to curtail his political movements when all procedures are followed.
Zambia is a democracy and has rules which spell out how political parties can interact with citizens.
The Zambian laws also provide for how political parties can interact with citizens of this country.
To underscore Zambia’s democracy and the freedom to assemble, the courts of law even removed the need for a Police permit and provided for Police notification.
This should be the catch-phrase which all peace loving Zambians should address themselves to for all to enjoy the freedom that came with our Independence in 1964.
It should be understood that while democracy takes many years to consolidate, violence takes minutes to disturb peace.