THE world is almost on tenterhooks because of North Korea’s missiles programme that has agitated some countries, particularly the United States which is
threatening “fire and fury” as its military is “locked and loaded”.
The unfolding events in the Korean peninsula are indeed worrisome and that is why many other countries, such as China, are calling for calm, as threats could trigger a war that could be highly costly in resources and human life.
The world is already fatigued by civil strife and senseless wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries where clearly there is no justification for the untold misery that the millions of people are now suffering.
Against this background and lessons of these and other flashpoints around the world including Africa, it is wise to listen to the voices of reason – voices that preach peace.
One such voice is that of President Lungu who has yet again reiterated that Zambia should preserve its tranquillity. He and all peace-loving Zambians should never tire at stressing the need to maintain harmony in the country.
Zambia has been a haven of peace since its political independence in 1964. In its 50-plus years of existence as a sovereign State, Zambia has been an admiration for many other countries.
For all the five decades Zambians, as a people, have always resisted being divided along ethnic or religious lines.
What binds Zambians is actually greater than that which attempts to disunite the citizens. The lessons and rewards of co-existence, love and tolerance should continue to bind the nation in diversity.
The continued efforts to maintain peace and unity must be the responsibility of every individual Zambian.
This must begin right from the household level to the community level, and should be reinforced by the State itself at national level.
Zambians must never take this tranquillity for granted because there are some citizens to whom the end will justify their means. There are some who have the greed for authority and do not really care what “collateral damage” they cause.
They really don’t care if innocent citizens are hurt for as long as they achieve their goals. This is wrong. The well-being of every citizen should come first.
President Lungu is right, therefore, in warning that attempts to destabilise the country will not be tolerated.
What Zambians should be doing is nurturing the spirit of co-existence to foster peace and unity.
These are key ingredients for attraction of investments that Zambia needs to ensure that every citizen lives a decent life.
Economic indicators show that Zambia is on the right track to economic recovery, so why should Zambians allow anyone to disrupt this status?
That is why President Lungu prodded traditional leaders during the Kusefya pa Ng’wena traditional ceremony of the Bemba people to participate in nation-building efforts.
Chiefs oversee their people and have authority and influence over all their subjects.
No amount of disagreement should make Zambians forfeit their peace because when it is lost, it is very difficult to recover, as the Libyans, Somalians and Syrians can attest.
As a mature democracy, Zambians must have better ways of resolving our differences – real or perceived.
Resorting to destroying property has never been a solution to resolving disputes.
President Lungu’s love for peace is the reason he has agreed to meet incarcerated United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema.
If the Commonwealth-mediated dialogue can resolve the stand-off between President Lungu and Mr Hichilema, that will be good for the country.
What the nation and international community want is peace to continue prevailing in Zambia.
That is what we have been known for.