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My prayer for Zambia

KABAMBA

Analysis: MATHEWS KABAMBA
DEAR Zambia, the land of work and joy, in the recent few months, you witnessed events that are far from joyous.
For over half a century, you have been an envy of many that surround you and those from afar owing to your unmatched record of being a beacon of peace in the region and beyond.
However, in the past few months, many have watched from a distance how some of your children have tried to obliterate the very thing that defines you – love and peace.
It is not my intention to remind you of the ills of the past, but I am compelled to highlight some of them with the hope that you might learn one or two things as you forge ahead.
You are revered by your friends for being a haven of peace. They hail you for being a land that has for the last 50 years lived in unity despite its diversity.
With such a rich reputation, how then do you explain the spark of pro- and post-election violence that engulfed you, my beloved country?
Zambia, my motherland, I am at pains to come to terms with you becoming synonymous with violence, hate, vengeance and lawlessness.
How do you explain the recent spontaneous eruption of violence where your children are rising against each other? Don’t you know a land divided against itself cannot stand?
Why do you want to sit and allow people to destroy the very essence of your existence, the fabric that has held you together in some of the difficult times of your history?
I write to you to remind you that ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ does not promote hooliganism, violence, hate speech, brutality and tribalism, among other ills that have been brewing in the recent past.
Your democracy that has seen you peacefully change governments has been the envy of many, so why do you want to allow politics to divide you?
Are you ready to give away all the achievements of the past because of a single general election? What happened to your ability to co-exist?
When I see what has been happening to you mother Zambia, I am gripped with fear of what has become of you. I fear for the future.
However, in times like these, I am reminded about one prayer by Moses Sakala and Levy Sakala of the Sakala Brothers fame.
In their ‘Born in Matero’ album, the talented duo had this to sing:
“O God, bless Zambia. We ask you to give us peace, love, unity and development.
O God, the father of all people, look with favour on us and hear the prayer we make for our country.
Bless all the people of our land, deliver us from all evil, heal our misunderstandings and teach us to love one another.
Give wisdom to our rulers and the spirit of obedience and loyalty to our people…O Lord.
We ask for your fatherly guidance, especially for our young men and women, upon whom the future depends…guide us,
Guide the work of our hands O Lord and the decisions of our leaders.
So that our country may deserve an honoured place among the nations, so that Zambia may deserve an honoured place among the nations.
“O God, bless Zambia. We ask you to give us peace, love, unity and development.
O God, the Father of all people, look with favour on us and hear the prayer we make for our country.
Bless all the people of our land, deliver us from all evil, heal our misunderstandings and teach us to love one another.
Give wisdom to our rulers and the spirit of obedience and loyalty to our people…O lord.
We ask for your fatherly guidance, especially for our young men and women, upon whom the future depends…guide us,
Guide the work of our hands, O Lord, and the decisions of our leaders.
So that our country may deserve an honoured place among the nations, so that Zambia may deserve an honoured place among the nations.”
This is equally my prayer for you. I pray that you will once again embrace the spirit of oneness that has defined you for decades.
Do not allow yourself to disintegrate into a place of violence and lawlessness. Never should it be said about you that you are a failed State.
I proclaim peace, love, tolerance and unity, so that your people will continue to stand and sing for you, proud and free, in your quest to attain the much-desired development.
The author is a Zambia Daily Mail correspondent.

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