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Reactions: ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ – What went wrong?

LAST week, I wrote on the need to address tribal talk and hate speech that is being peddled in the country and the need to introduce peace education as a compulsory component of the education system from early learners to tertiary education.
Below are some reactions to the column.
Dear Panic,
Thank you for addressing this worrying trend.
This is really an important subject for young students in Zambia. It is really sad to see young Zambians write insults and use bad language towards one another when they are reacting to news stories on the internet, for example, on Facebook or on various social media pages.
We who live in the diaspora are really shocked. It is important that young students should learn at a tender age to love and respect one another, to be able to hold hands with each other knowing that they are coming from different tribes and backgrounds, yet born in the same country.
It is important that peace education goes on record and should be advertised as well as being displayed on billboards that it is a lesson being taught in all classes across Zambia. It will teach young Zambians to have respect for each other as human beings. And that every person regardless of what region they come from, deserves to be treated with dignity and to also enjoy the rights and freedoms of every individual in the country.
United Kingdom
Dear Panic,
Thank you. This is good, inspirational stuff. I am one of the lucky Zambians who lived in an era when one, having written the grade seven exams, could apply for form one at any school anywhere in the country. I was able to attend a school very far from the area I come from. During my time in my ‘adopted home’, I made many friends whom I can never give up and no politician will ever make me give up or doubt.
We all must find a way to push back and overcome this black heartedness stalking our land. So, thank you for the very thoughtful piece you have written on this emerging tribal plague. I hope your suggestion of peace education will be picked up by our curriculum developers.
Dear editor,
May God bless you for the great work you are doing, we all have a big task to end this hate speech and tribal talk which can destroy our country if left unchecked. The greatest achievement will be the time when the motto, ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ will be a song to every Zambian and will once again become a way of life.
Dear editor,
I think it is indeed sad that the lines of tribalism are visible in almost every aspect of life in Zambia. ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ sounds like a claim towards an ideal atmosphere we crave for. Although there are some who understand its need to be re-actualised but are met with opposition when they present it. This is seen in the political circles.
There was a time (when I was 17 years old or so) when I thought that this issue of tribal lines and prejudice was only something the elderly did but I came across a few of my peers who would say things like, “I can’t marry a (tribal name) because of the following,” or “I don’t like so and so because they are (tribal name) and that is how people from that tribe are.”
I personally think such kind of sentiments have stunted the humanistic property of people in this country and has also contributed to the slow development of the nation economically by having a country filled with shallow-minded individuals.
After all, mindsets are a contributing factor to sustainable development on a socio-economic level. Adjusting the syllabus in schools at all levels of education and using awareness campaigns to highlight Peace Education would be a step forward in breaking down the walls of tribalism that divide us. An overhaul would be most successful if the youth and children are the main target. Safe to say I agree with you. We need change… Positive change
Remember, children are our future, until next week, take care.;