03 January 2015
To all wives of leaders of political parties and our sole female Presidential candidate.
Dear fellow women and mothers,
We are in the delicate process of selecting a new leader for our country after the demise of our late President. This is a process we pray that will bring about sanity, protection and guidance so that all Zambians may have better lives.
The violence portrayed by our men and women folk of late, regardless of which party they represent, is alarming. Zambia has historically always been a haven of peace in the Southern African region. Our neighbours from Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Democratic Republic of the Congo can all attest to how we have looked after their citizens during their own struggles for political freedom from colonial and despotic rule. What then has fractured our semblance of peace? Why have we lost the much celebrated title of a safe haven for not only our neighbours, but ourselves too? Our men and women have embarrassed us by waging senseless wars against political opponents. What lessons are we teaching our children today by these acts of verbal and physical violence? Intolerance of different opinions has become the order of the day. Intolerance for others views can lead us to an internal war, such as what happened in Rwanda and Biafra. We do not want this to happen to mother Zambia. We do not want to teach our children that fists, stones, and other weapons are the best ways to resolve conflicts.
We were once a very prayerful country in times of adversity. Why can we not return to prayerfulness especially as we have decided to call ourselves a Christian nation. One drop of blood spilt on Zambian soil is a loss for all Zambians, regardless of race, tribe, gender, religious affiliation, or political preference. We, the women of Zambia are fed up of looking after our wounded sons, daughters, husbands. Why should we be so intolerant and violent when we can instead embrace each other and campaign peacefully?
As human beings, we are the only animals on earth blessed with the wonderful gift of the capacity to reason. Why are we not exercising that precious gift given to us by our God? We seek peaceful campaigns. We seek the right to express ourselves as enshrined in our constitution. We seek the capacity to travel anywhere in Zambia without fear being instilled in us.
Which mother wants to have sleepless nights not knowing whether her loved ones will come back home safe and sound from political campaigns. We are setting a very dangerous precedent and the world is watching us.
I wish to ask that as women of Zambia, we say NO TO VIOLENCE, whether verbal or physical. May we be able to embrace each other and respect one another’s opinions instead. May we agree to disagree amicably. May we teach our children the proper values of right and wrong. We need to remember that an eye for an eye, as pronounced in the old Testament of the Bible, just makes everyone blind. The level of anger and animosity is growing, may this truly be stopped now. Not tomorrow, not after elections, but now. May we speak to our husbands, sisters, sons and daughters and declare war against this senseless violence in our nation. May we instead truly live as Jesus commanded us: To love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and our neighbours as ourselves. By joining together as women, may we stand united against violence of any form. We only have mother Zambia as our home and refuge, we have nowhere else to go or call home. The cost of peace can never be quantified, it is priceless beyond measure.
May we sign the pledge as Zambian women to promote peace and tolerance, love and respect in our homes, at our work places, in the media, in church, and everywhere we go. May we openly condemn violence wherever we see it perpetrated regardless of who is doing so. We have nothing to lose by so doing, but everything to lose by keeping silent. May we live this daily and keep our country from falling into the sin of intolerance. In any war there are no winners, all are losers. May God bless us all with the wisdom to fight against the violence, may God bless mother Zambia with peace.
On behalf of all well meaning Zambian Women Against Violence
CC To all Political Parties in Zambia