It is becoming more and more a part of Zambian politics to hear or see violence taking place among our people, harassing others and each other even to the point of some losing their lives.
For some violence is in their mouths and we also have those that carry and use machetes, axe holders and sticks. Lynching of unwanted political leaders has become a daily business.
If we can face this seriously, it is no different from the Kaunda era, or what is still happening in some of our neighbouring nations. Zambia must redeem itself from such a bad reputation.
Zambia has only 13million people and therefore we cannot fail to coexist and unite as one people, if our ethnic, religious and tribal lines are not so much an issue to us, then how much more we can overcome political barriers to be able to live as one people of one nation. People have the right to hold and express different political opinions and affiliate themselves to a political party of their choice.
It is needful that we examine ourselves about where we are coming from as Zambians, look at where we are presently, and mindful of where we are going as a people.
Am personally making a strong appeal and challenging my fellow Church leaders and other Church bodies in the nation not to close their eyes and pretend that all is well when freedoms of association and expression are being taking away not by changing the law but by beating those that have a different stance from others. The Church as a Watchman and reconcilliator must come out and condemn in strongest terms possible the violence being perpetrated and is becoming prevalent in our nation.
We also ask where are those able and strong women organisations that have always come through to defend the weak especially where wife battering is concerned.
As a Church body, we plead and call on all our political cadres and their leaders to restrain themselves and to totally abstain from violence. Let the party leaders speak as one voice in condemning these acts of violence.
We do not think there is any political leader out there who is delighting in violence, shedding of blood and loss of souls that wanted to continue to live, why should such evil acts have preeminence in our nation and affecting many people. The spirit of behaving like thugs has never been a better way of reasoning by a sane group of people.
All political leaders must know and be reminded that, political leadership is only for a brief moment even if it is more than 20 years, it is still brief just as life is brief, so let us love and care for one another because that has an eternal blessing from Jehovah God.
We call on the Church to call for a Roundtable discussion with all concerned stakeholders such as Political Leaders, The Police, The Chiefs, The Non-Government Organisations, and The Electoral Commission of Zambia, to find a lasting solution to ending the political violence.
Zambia has been known to be a beacon of peace and friendliness in the world and one of the few champions of democracy in Africa. Zambia has been a haven of peace for refugees from some of our neighbouring nations; we have fought for independence for some of our neighbouring nations.
If our men and women in uniform are being accused of brutalizing innocent citizens to an extent of shooting to kill as it has happened in Chongwe where two family men were killed and one wounded. We need to hear our Republican president condemn such evil.
There are nations out there that admire what Zambia is like in terms of democracy, unity, friendliness and the little development we have achieved. We have cared for each other even in times of poverty in the land and we have received strangers without looking at their Colour or race. Why should we destroy the strong good foundations that we have built as a Christian Nation with its motto from our founding fathers as One Zambia One Nation.
BY BISHOP SIMON CHIHANA
INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES.