ZAMBIA today stands on the precipice of national calamity unless men and women of valour, patriotism and clout from all sections of Zambian society come forward to help President-elect Edgar Lungu strategize on how to stop the nonsense threatening the unity and bonding of our motherland.
We call it nonsense because it is uncalled for, irresponsibility of the worst kind and is being perpetrated by people who have nothing to lose and love themselves more than they love their country.
Reports of fellow Zambians being expelled from their homes in Southern Province on apparently ethnic grounds make sad reading. They demand the attention of father-figures in the land to call for a halt to these dangerous, foolish actions by a bunch of young political thugs who have no idea that they are playing with the tail of the tiger.
Making the situation worse is the deafening silence from the United Party for National Development and especially its president Hakainde Hichilema who, we are certain, has heard of these excesses by his supporters but has chosen to keep quiet.
Mr Hichilema has petitioned the re-election of President Edgar Lungu because he feels he was genuinely elected to lead this country but for one reason or another Mr Lungu emerged the winner of the August 11 election. One assumes the UPND leader wants to rule a united, peaceful and secure Zambia where all citizens regardless of their political persuasion or ethnic origin live in harmony anywhere within the boundaries of the Republic of Zambia.
How come, therefore, that HH and the entire UPND leadership appear to glorify, if not abet, the dangerous spiral of ethnic violence being engineered in their political stronghold of Southern Province?
Why, up to now, Mr Hichilema has not directly condemned what is happening in his home area which is reported to be carried out by his supporters against innocent fellow Zambians who may not be in any way involved in politics. Some of them perhaps did not even vote for anyone.
The worst form of inhumanity known to man is ethnic cleansing and we can never ever contemplate such a traversity visiting our land. It is evil, irreprehensible and totally unchristian.
It is for this reason that we call upon Zambians of civic or political stature to stand up and be counted among those who defended their beloved country when it mattered most. We have in our midst eminent personalities – former justices, veteran politicians, nationalists, churchmen, business leaders and friends of Zambia – whose voices can make a difference.
In this respect, we are extremely lucky that we still have in our midst our revered father of Zambia, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, who founded this nation on love, justice, fair play and humanism. We are certain his word can help.
These men and women should not shun their responsibility for fear of being targeted by one group or another. What is happening and what is coming will not spare anyone or anything. If civil strife breaks out, who can stop it? By then it might be too late. Now is the time to act and nip this monster of inhumanity in the bud.
We are saddened that political zealots can go to the extent of burning down a Government administration block just to prove their stupidity. Lukulu is one of the least developed areas of Zambia and that office building was doing a lot to help farmers produce more and reduce poverty which is so endemic in that part of the country.
Those who set it on fire simply shot themselves in the foot.
While ruling party supporters are meeting soon to contemplate how to respond to what they see as UPND provocation, they must remember the words of their President: don’t emulate those who have nothing to lose. Out of all those contenders perhaps “Umunthu ni Lungu.’’