Editor's Comment

Let’s all toast Golden Jubilee

THERE are times when national interests transcend political, religious and tribal loyalties.
That is what happened in the 1950s up to 1964 when Zambia liberated itself from the bondage of colonial rule.
The inhabitants of the then Northern Rhodesia set aside their political, religious and ethnic affiliations to confront the common enemy that manifested itself in the oppressive system that reduced them to second-class citizens.
The struggle for independence amalgamated the tribes of Zambia and different faiths into a formidable force that piled pressure on the colonisers.
A look at the composition of the African National Congress and later the United National Independence Party (UNIP) during and after independence attested to the unity of purpose that gelled different interest groups into one united front.
This month Zambia is celebrating 50 years of independence from Britain because the freedom fighters and their wives and husbands cast aside their political, religious and tribal cloaks.
It is in this vein that we commend all the political parties and religious groups that have confirmed participation in the celebrations of the country’s Golden Jubilee as a republic.
It is particularly commendable that the founding and first ruling political party, UNIP, is calling on all Zambians to participate in the celebrations.
UNIP president Tilyenji Kaunda is right in stating that all Zambians should come together to thank God for the peace that has been enjoyed as a nation for the last 50 years of self-rule.
Many Zambians must have been humbled by Mr Kaunda’s magnanimity despite the difficult circumstances in which his party has found itself in the last 23 years it has been out of power.
Mr Kaunda said Zambia has gone through a lot of transformation since 1964, a fact which cannot be disputed or ignored.
Those who were born or grew up in the 1960s and 1970s will agree that the country has changed for the better in many aspects.
Who ever thought Zambians could enjoy free shopping in world-class shopping malls 50 years ago?
How many people even dreamed that they could drive on tarred roads from one rural district to another?
While there are some issues that still beg for attention from the government as it strives to improve the living standards of Zambians, boycotting such important celebrations is not a solution.
This is the message Mr Kaunda has sent to the nation.
Zambians should use the occasion to engage in genuine introspection and search for solutions to the many challenges that lie in our path to prosperity as a nation.
Those who have travelled to other parts of the globe, including southern Africa, will attest to the fact that Zambians have everything to thank God for.
Zambia is endowed with vast tracts of arable but under-utilised land, expanses of freshwater bodies, a youthful population and performing economy.
Zambians should all redouble their contribution to the development of the nation, and there cannot be a better time than now.
Those who have one grievance or another should not shun the grand Uhuru celebration, but take time to reflect on the good things God has done for them as individuals and as a nation.
Cast aside any artificial diversity that could deprive Zambians of a rare opportunity to appreciate one another.
Instead, Zambians should congratulate themselves on all the achievements scored as individuals and as a nation.
This Golden Jubilee is for all Zambians, which is why everyone should play a part in celebrating it.
Those who are thinking of shunning the celebrations should re-think their position and join the rest of the nation in shouting praises to God for His grace towards Zambia.

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