Editor's Comment

Let’s guard against careless talk

THE tongue, though a very small part of the body, has potential not only to destroy an individual but tear down nations.
The Bible describes the tongue as a fire and a world of evil among the parts of the body. And Proverbs 18:21 states that the tongue can bring death or life and those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
As a matter of fact words have been known to be a catalyst of conflict among individuals, groups or even nations.
There are so many examples around us of how words or careless talk can lead to chaos and tear down nations.
One example that shook the African continent and the world at large and still lingers in the minds of many is the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
The genocide is largely attributed to the careless talk where one politician, Leon Mugesera, gave a speech to 1,000 ruling Hutu party members, describing Tutsis as cockroaches and called for their extermination.
His careless speech led to the massacre of about 800,000 people and the total breakdown of Rwanda.
The media in Rwanda exacerbated the situation by sending hate messages into the airwaves thereby leading to the explosion of the conflict and within 100 days Rwanda experienced massive killings of the Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Certainly, such are situations every nation should guard against.
This is why First President Dr Kenneth Kaunda is reminding Zambians, especially the youths to desist from careless talk and promote the ‘One Zambia One Nation’ motto.
It is worrying that Zambian politics is drifting from issues to hate speech that is inciting violence.
Some politicians, especially cadres seem to have mastered the art of hate speech than politics itself.
Recently, a group of cadres from one of the political parties released a video which has gone viral on social media in which they are threatening violence in the Chilanga by-elections.
Certainly such talk should not be entertained even in the slightest terms because it has potential to tear the nation apart.
We remember that the situation was worse before the 2016 elections where some politicians literally declared war.
As a country that prides itself in five decades of peace, we cannot allow careless talk to push such a reputation down the drain.
It is actually the responsibility of every Zambian to uphold this reputation and it starts with taming of tongues.
It is therefore commendable that a non-governmental organisation, Vision Ambassadors under the patronage of Dr Kaunda has launched a ‘One Zambia One Nation’ peace campaign.
During the launch Dr Kaunda reminded Zambians that he united the 72 tribes by consulting the Bible.
He said as a result majority of youths during his time never considered tribe as a barrier as people carried on their business in all parts of the country freely.
Even today we see no reason why tribe, political affiliation, religion or social status should confine or divide us.
We are all sons and daughters of the same soil and should therefore unite for the good of mother Zambia.
We implore youths to adhere to Dr Kaunda’s counsel not to fall prey to hate speech being promoted by some selfish politicians.
Youths must remember that life is more valuable than any amount of money that can be offered by politicians.
Politicians and youths in particular must also look at the bigger picture because if the country is plunged into chaos they and their families will also be affected.
It is our hope that with the launch of the ‘One Zambia One Nation’ peace campaign the spirit of love and unity will be revived in the hearts of all Zambians.

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