By Sunday Chanda
There are no words to describe UPND President Hakainde Hichilema’s decision to trash the efforts of on-going harmony seeking engagement between the youth in his party and the ruling Patriotic front.
Less than forty Eight hours ago, the nation watched in joyful amazement as a previously seemingly impossible meeting of high level women and youth leaders from the PF and UPND took place at the UPND secretariat. The nation breathed a collective sigh of relief as it witnessed a reconciliatory atmosphere of brotherly and sisterly love.
The PF delegation included Honourable Stephen Kampyongo – the nation’s Minister of home Affairs whose portfolio includes the maintenance of law and order. Although he attended the meeting as PF Chairperson for Youth and Security, his input Minister of Home Affairs was inevitably critical. So was the commitment of Honourable Jean Kapata – Minister for Lands even as she attended the meeting as PF Chairperson for Women. The UPND delegation equally comprised key decision makers and influencers, including their Deputy Secretary General Hon Patrick Mucheleka.
The entire nation – citizens of different political parties including neutrals were still basking in the afterglow of the peace talks and were looking ahead to the joint and mutual implementation of the historic meetings resolution… until this morning when the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema threw a wet blanket on peace and good will to all men and women.
Hichilema claimed his youths were duped by PF over the peace pact and that he will not sign a peace accord. He has again issued new instructions for youths to defend themselves violently if provoked by PF.
What kind of man incites “his” youth to renege on their commitment to peace? Not only is he insulting the intelligence of the youth in the UPND, he is casting an affront on the intelligence and reasoning of all the youth in Zambia. After all it is the youth whom blood thirsty people use for their selfish ambitions.
Zambians must be wary of politicians who have serious traits of desperate blood thirsty glorified warlords disguised as well-meaning political leaders. Zambia must reject politicians who yearn for violence. The youth of Zambia must reject selfish politicians who desire to use youths for violence.
Clearly Mr. Hichilema’s pronouncements confirm that the decision by youths from his Party does not serve his political interests best. He is not interested in the wellbeing of our mothers and the youth. We are vindicated when we say that Mr. Hichilema does not mean well for peace and it’s the reason his party’s membership base keeps dwindling. He does not mean well for the UPND either. No wonder he failed to condemn the Mapatizya violence, Namwala violence, and the recent violence against violence in Chilanga against journalists.
We call upon our right thinking brothers and sisters in the United Party of National Development to pursue the path of peace and reject calls for war and bloodshed. Bloodshed has no winner. While you fight, Mr. Hakainde and his children relax in air conditioned surroundings.
Lastly, we also call upon all Zambians to rise up and condemn Mr. Hichilema just as we appeal to the international community in Zambia, the church the women’s movement and civil society to take a note of his morbid affinity to bloodshed. However our earnest appeal is to Hichilema himself to find inner peace. When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.