The Young African Leaders Initiative – YALI – has asked President Edgar Lungu to consider extending his prerogative mercy to incarcerated Chilanga lawmaker, Keith Mukata, exiled activist Gregory Chifire, among other imprisoned persons for pardon during the National Day of Prayer and Reconciliation.
In a message to mark the 4 years after the 2016 General Elections, YALI Governance Advisor and Legal Advisor Isaac Mwanza has called on leaders and the general citizenry to reconcile, forgive one another and support Government in developing the nation and conducting peaceful 2021 elections.
“We want to earnestly ask President Lungu to lead efforts in reconciling Zambians as the country prepares for general election, exactly one year from now,” said Mr. Mwanza.
Mr. Mwanza said although the last 4 years have witnessed hardwork from President Lungu’s administration in delivering development, the nation has continued to see divisions with some people harbouring pain and hatred against each other.
“What is happening is very unhealthy for a Christian and peace-loving nation. What is more sad is that the clergy who are supposed to be messengers of forgiveness and reconciliation are in the forefront perpetrating divisions among political sides. The President must thus take the responsibility upon his shoulder to do the tasks Bishops and other members of the clergy should have been doing in reconciling the Nation,” he said.
Mr. Mwanza has chastised Zambians in the Diaspora to stop talking ill about their country and Government but offer themselves to help in the healing process than create further divisions.
“The ‘Facebook and Hashtag Revolution’ by our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, in which they spend countless hours and efforts insulting or disrespecting leaders in Government is not helping to build the country we all love. These energies can better be spent in helping the nation to prepare for 2021 elections and manage the post-election period,” he said.
He said Zambians can only do this noble act when they put political differences, hurt and pains aside and begin working together to firstly, conduct peaceful elections in 2021 and secondly, becoming a resource for developing Zambia.
“In this vein, we kindly implore His Excellency the President to utilise the forthcoming Day of National Prayer in October, 2020 to extend forgiveness by extending the prerogative of mercy in pardoning persons like former Chilanga Member of Parliament Keith Mukata and self-exiled activist Gregory Chifire, both of whom were convicted by the Courts for different offenses. These men and other prisoners whom President Lungu has used his Christian heart to continue pardoning deserve a second chance to contribute to this country.”
Mr Mwanza has since called on Zambians from all walks in life to take the first steps by reaching out to those whom they could have offended to make peace and seek forgiveness but also allow the spirit of reconciliation to lead our lives and the life of the Nation.