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TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

BY DR DANIEL MVULA SHIMUNZA

MNT Founding President

For First World Zambia Ideology.

(The Real Deal National Agenda).

THE Chambers 21st Century Dictionary (2007:1164), defines reconciliation as: “The act of putting two people on friendly terms again after a quarrel, or to bring two or more aims, points of view into agreement, to harmonise them, to agree to accept an unwelcome fact or situation, patiently.”

This descriptive definition, entails a willingness to agree to disagree, without being disagreeable, by serious reason, and conditions. Leaders, must be the voice of reason, for the nation.

Therefore, by implication, divergent views, ideological perspectives, and political philosophy, must not be the cause of national division. We must use our differences, to better our politics, not polarise the nation. 

Cadrerism, must not ferment an undue rivalry of; tribalism, violence, and regionism at all. We need to retire politics of “populism,” to ideological- politics of “solutionist thinking” and “development-thinking,” respectively.  Diversity, is for unity, not undue rivalry.

The Biblical view of reconciliation, is found in the Apostle Pauls’ Second Letter to the Church at Corinth, where great sensual factions existed, as stated in (2 Corinthians 5:14-20). 

The Church in Zambia, as at Corinth, must project a Ministry and word of Reconciliation, for the nation. Many a time, what we have seen, is that those who should reconcile us as “Clergy,” are at the cenre of divisive rhetoric and practices, which are counterproductive in this effort.

Consequently, the Greek word used for reconciliation, is called, “Katallage,” which means “exchange, adjustment, restoration to divine favour, and atonement. This entails that those who seek reconciliation, must be willing to have a meaningful exchange. 

They must be willing, to adjust, and not become rigid to one’s own point of view in politics. It is about restoration, to divine favour with God. The God-factor, makes “fighting parties,” to be restored to divine favour, by the word of reconciliation. It is about the redemptive aspect, “to atone or cover,” or to make-at-one again.

The test of the quality of all leaders, we currently have as a nation, whether in the “ruling” or “opposition” political parties, is reconciliation and unity of the nation. The worst of rivals, can in maturity, reconcile. Our nation, needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), to unify the people.  

Zambia, must speak the truth to power, and those in power, to those not. We are fast becoming, a post-truth society. The mere seeking of popularity, without truth, is deceptive.

The sustenance of disunity, and national rivalry, is testimony of weak political leaders, whether from the left or the right. Great Leaders, are known, by solving national and global problems. 

Every leader, is tested in the crucible of crisis, to foster the quality of their tough- tested contribution. Truly, leaders are not merely born, but, they are defined and made, by a problem they hate, which they in turn solve, for their people. Weak leaders, perpetuate rivalry, and disunity.

The Mandela way, of the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” is the best way to unify a divided nation, at the moment. Still standing tall, and above, as a towering figure among his equals, late former first President of a new Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, the instituted a TRC, against the expectations of his people. They sought revenge, against the Whites.

He navigated a way of unity and reconciliation, by using the Church, to facilitate reconciliation.  The result was a united South Africa, and healed nation. 

Zambia today, is bleeding from the wounds of the last decade of rivalry, between the United Party for National Development (UPND), and the former ruling party, the Patriotic Front (PF). 

We need leaders with the vision and wisdom of God, to bring about unity and reconciliation, in the nation now more than ever. 

In South Africa, Church leaders, like the late Anglican Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutus, led the TRC, and not without challenges.

The God factor in our politics, must not be a “cosmetic” pursuit for getting votes, but a true quest for his supremacy in our democracy. No human being is perfect, but we all need God’s grace for perfection, especially in leadership of his people in a nation. 

Sadly, many leaders use the God of the Church, merely for “political mileage” during elections, and dump God, thereafter.  Such deception, breaks our covenant relationship, with God’s sovereign hand of guidance over our nation. 

Zambia, as a Christian nation, must be governed under the supremacy of God, always. All Presidents, after the Second Republican President, observably, who never handled the declaration well; either never finished their terms or died, sadly, on record thus far. 

What are possible solutions, to authentic reconciliation and unity in Zambia today?

Firstly, The Presidency, with a political will, for unity and authentic reconciliation.

There is no substitute for leadership in power, to be the catalyst of unity and reconciliation. Both 

the initiative and the quest for unity, remains, with the political will of those charged with the;

State, Government, and Security of our nation. The political will of a godly leader, must be in tandem, and correspondent with God’s will, about the nation. God is sovereign, in all human affairs. How can we lead, God’s people without God? This is a dangerous, supposition.

Self- seeking interests, self-preservation, and insecurity, are the greatest enemies of weak leaders to foster reconciliation and unity. This is why pride in power, eventually, corrupts weak leaders.

The political will drives the character of the nation, and its direction. The character of every 

nation is after the leadership of the times, whether bad or good throughout.

Deceptive leadership, is the worst form, as in political science, the “Macavillian style” of deception to keep power, at all cost, and by all means good or bad, sadly. Political will, without 

God’s will, is mere ambition. It is ultimately, doomed to failure, and a very weak legacy. It lacks longevity. 

It is bankrupt of transformative vision. Better management, is not transformation.

Secondly, the right advisors to the Presidency. The Presidency, is made or broken, by bad or good advisors. Great leaders, attract those around them, who tell them the truth and wise counsel. 

Weak leaders, attract cadres to control by insecurity. The down turn is failure to have correct; judgment, wisdom, and experience, to lead a country well.

By wrong advisors, who were his own peers, and cadres, the son to the wisest King Solomon that ever lived, destroyed the Kingdom of Israel into a division of the Southern and Northern Kingdoms, sadly, as stated in (1Kings 12:1-33). 

After the death of King Solomon, his son Rehoboam, refused the advice of the wise elders, and chose to rather, listen to his own peers and cadres.

The ultimate consequence of bad advisors, led to the ten tribes to secede, and become the Northern Kingdom, led by his arch – rival Jeroboam, while two and half tribes, remained under him, as the Southern Kingdom. 

The lesson here is that transitions of one government to another, requires wisdom from God, and wise advisors, to develop a nation and unify it. If this fails, the nation remains divided, and without reconciliation. The wisdom of God brings; transformation, love, unity, peace, and security, in a nation.

Thirdly, the transformative opposition parties leadership. The opposition is mandated by Article (60), sub-articles, (1-4), of the Republican Constitution, to; participate in 

elections, have national character, disseminate information of their party, to the general public, promote democracy, offer credible checks and balances, with the government and ruling party and finally, to provide financial accounts of the party, respectively.

However, this does not include; insults, or bringing into disrepute of the Presidency, abuse of traditional wisdom or languages, trivialities, undue rivalry that divides the nation, tribal rhetoric and wickedness or violent exchanges against political opponents. 

It rather means, providing an alternative development system of governance, for the good of the country.

We need a mature opposition, currently missing, at this frequency. Mediocrity, desperation, and arrogance, fails them, to pass the test of being transformative. Immaturity and rivalry, is the norm. 

We see more and more nauseating rivalry and claims of being the largest opposition parties, without the required substance. Do not say it, be it, which is all! 

Models of wisdom, unity, maturity, and transformation, are missing to inspire us again, to hope again.

Conclusively, Zambia, has continued on the path of divisive politics, violence, false-rebranding, tribalism, malicious propaganda, cadrerism still rearing its ugly heads in insidious ways, and weak un-transformative opposition politics.

What we urgently need, is a TRC, to foster the much required unity and reconciliation of the nation. Do you have the political will, as a nation, to do the right things? We are all Zambians first, before partisanship.

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