ZAMBIA is one of few countries across the globe with a befitting description of a rainbow country due to the ethnic diversity of her inhabitants.
Zambia is home to 72 indigenous tribes plus groupings of non-indigenous people.
However, what makes Zambia distinctive among many other rainbow nations of the world is how it has managed to maintain peace over five decades.
Ethnic diversity has been a source of strife in some other parts of Africa.
Thankfully for Zambia, however, the country’s founding fathers set a firm foundation of love and unity on which the country has thriven over the past five decades.
It is indisputable the founding fathers did a commendable job in uniting the diverse inhabitants of this beautiful country through the ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ motto.
This generation of Zambians also owes it to the country’s first President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, for creating an environment which allowed for intermarriages to thrive as this has helped strengthen bonds among different tribes and dialects.
This unity in diversity was also cemented with appointments and postings to regions where one did not originate from.
Evidently, the founding fathers did their part in setting a firm foundation for co-existence. The onus is now on the current generation to sustain the peace and unity, which were attained at a high price.
It is therefore in national interest for all citizens to conduct themselves in a manner that promotes peace and unity in the country.
Older citizens should not relent in preaching messages of love and unity to reinforce the virtues among the younger generations.
Peace and unity are prerequisites to national development.
As a developing country working towards transitioning to a developed one, Zambians cannot afford to mortgage this peace and unity for anything, not even political expediency.
This is why all should heed counsel for all Zambians to live in love and unity of purpose, as stated by Central Province permanent secretary Chanda Kabwe.
Mr Kabwe emphasised, and rightly so, that all tribes are important and every citizen has a responsibility of upholding peace and unity.
True to Mr Kabwe’s words, it is important for Zambians to acknowledge that all tribes are important regardless of their magnitude or comparatively lower population. This is the basis for co-existence and peace.
While Zambia is held in high esteem as a beacon of peace, some unpatriotic Zambians have been working hard, day and night, to dent this image by sending falsehoods to the international media.
Some disgruntled individuals have been misleading international media with lies that the country is politically unstable in a bid to push their selfish agendas.
These are individuals who are too blinded by their selfish ambitions to see the cost of their irresponsible actions.
These are people who do not care about the hard-earned peace and unity. They seem to be only focused on painting a negative picture of the country and hope that this will put the country’s leadership in bad light and thus enhance their chances of taking the reins of governance.
That is a pathetic approach.
It is acknowledged that the pre and post August 11, 2017 general elections posed a serious threat to the peace Zambians have enjoyed for over 50 years.
However, to insinuate that the country is on fire as some people with political interests have been doing is totally irresponsible.
Politicians need to rise above board and desist from engaging in violence. It is important, too, that they do not say or behave in a manner that would encourage their supporters to have violence as an option in their quest to achieve their goals.
Beyond political and ethnic divides, we are all Zambians and as such, we owe this great nation our patriotism and commitment. Otherwise, posterity will judge us harshly.
Let us, therefore, not tire out in entrenching values of love, peace and unity for continued co-existence in our great nation.