By Dr. Given Mutinta
I am writing to you in relation to the growing culture of violence in Zambia and your silence.
Through your intelligence constituents you are aware that President Michael Sata’s regime has a militia that is brandishing various weaponries including firearms and machetes, and freely attacking innocent souls.
The militia openly puts on military fatigue, camouflage uniforms and other similar outfits. The existence of two armies; the Zambian army and the private Patriotic Front (PF) militia is a clear indication of how our society has become both paralyzed and polarized.
Simply put, we are on the brink of war with ourselves. Our patriotism to remain a country born in a commitment to life and liberty is being tested, and anything is possible!
However, what has taken the wind out of our sails as citizens is your silence in the midst of snowballing State sponsored violence.
We are not asking you to spring clean the mess we created ourselves in 2011 by putting into power a repressive regime. We know very well that it is our responsibility as a nation to sort out the predicament we are in today.
However, this country needs your indefatigable support.
The militia Zambians are tussling with is not made up of ordinary men and women but armed thugs. You know very well that there is no dangerous person than an armed thug.
Your silence when our people need your voice makes us wonder if you are still carrying out your roles and responsibilities as diplomats.
Why are you not having your say against State sponsored violence swallowing up a beautiful country hosting you?
Your embassies may be secure with defense systems able to intercept weapons; but even then, this should not stop you from challenging a repulsive leadership style that is subverting our national cohesion.
We are questioning your roles and responsibilities because we all know what happened in Rwanda in 1994 when the Hutu government of Rwanda and its extremist allies nearly succeeded in eradicating the country’s Tutsi minority.
Using firearms, machetes, and a variety of garden apparatuses such as those carried by the PF militia, Hutu militia and ordinary citizens murdered almost a million of Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu.
Intelligence reports hint that the home countries of diplomats did not know very well what was happening in Rwanda.
If the PF militia plunges this country deeper into turmoil, you will be partially responsible.
Posterity will judge the United States of America, Russia, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, South Africa etcetera for not doing more for our country at the time when the sitting regime through its militia is advancing a culture of deadly violence.
If we may ask, do your Presidents in your respective home countries truly know about the level of lawlessness and violence that has engulfed Zambia?
Do your countries really know about the simmering pot of potential blood conflict in this country?
Sometimes we wonder what your unique publication containing reviews on a wide range of issues on Zambia are about if not on the current State sponsored violence.
Surely, your main functions do not just revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of your countries.
Why are you not able to demand the promotion of friendly relations from the Zambian regime by insisting on the rule of law? What are diplomatic relationships for if you cannot censure your ally?
We know very well that it is diplomats that make the life-and-death decisions that dictate your countries policies. The decision to even out violence caused by the militia is no longer a local issue. It is a red-hot matter that needs international attention.
It is being unrealistic to think unarmed ordinary citizens can tussle with the militia when the Zambia Police Service is not able to do so. This is one reason you need to decide, or decide not to decide to speak out against the escalation of violence in this country.
The voices of despair and anguish among our people inside and outside the country are very loud and clear.
Are you asking your governments to do more, or until you see corpses litter our streets?
If so, why are your countries not responding even when violence is increasing?
Your governments cannot claim that they do not know what is happening because you are seeing the militia wielding guns and pangas in day light.
Or is it that your governments know about this violence and they do not care, or that regardless of what they know there is nothing expedient to be done
Your Excellences, it is your duty to help appropriately shape or inform your governments’ policies of what we are going through in Zambia.
Let your governments have correct information to provide a clearer picture of the carnage that is pending in this country due to the interplay among leaders, motives, and events.
Time is ripe for you to create comprehensive, factual reports about your observations and thoughts regarding the current developments in Zambia affecting people and of course your home countries’ interests.
Let your reports to your respective countries become part of proposals to the current government about how it should act to further its interests and respond to the leadership changes in the modern world.
How do you feel when you see a once favourable country budging backwards in leadership style when everyone is moving forward?
Let your governments know enough about the current violence early on to prevent anarchy.
We cannot afford to let pass numerous opportunities to prevent bloodshed. Prevention of violence is a preeminent way of saving life.
You have the job of communicating, in the most persuasive way possible, the views of your home governments to our current pig-headed regime.
Let it be done now to convince our recalcitrant regime to act in ways that suit people’s interests not of a political party and its militia.
We want to underscore our observations; your current silence on what is happening in our country is shocking to say the least. Your silence may be interpreted that you are happy to be part of the beginning and the end of each loop in the continuous process through which the PF regime is killing democracy.
We all know what you are capable of from the way you groused and criticized previous regimes.
Your capacity for more immediate input about democracy and evils of violence we are experiencing is needed now more than any time in the past.
In good conscience, where is your impelling cause for peace and justice?
Has the current regime sent shivers down your spines?
Why should your roles always be taken on when war has broken out, or blood has been shed?