By NATION REPORTER
ZAMBIA today is bleeding from the wounds of rivalry between the United Party for National Development (UPND), and the former ruling party, the Patriotic Front (PF) and therefore needs healing through a truth and reconciliation commission, Daniel Mvula Shimunza has said.
Dr Shimunza, who is Movement for National Transformation (MNT) founding president said in an interview that 10 years of rivalry between the two political parties had left the country in serious divisions and hurt.
He has appealed to leaders both in opposition and government to seek real healing for the nation with a truth and reconciliation commission, like the one initiated by Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
He has also called the Church in Zambia to project a Ministry and word of Reconciliation, for the nation.
Sadly, he said, many a time, what we have seen, is that those who should reconcile us as “clergy,” are at the centre of divisive rhetoric and practices, which are counterproductive in this effort.
This entails that those who seek reconciliation, must be willing to have a meaningful exchange.
He has asked leaders to 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,” Dr Shimunza said.
“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, to unify the people.
He has warned that 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,” he said.
He said 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.”
“Great Leaders, are known, by solving national and global problems,” he said.
Weak leaders, he said, perpetuate rivalry, and disunity.
He said, “we need leaders with the vision and wisdom of God, to bring about unity and reconciliation, in the nation now more than ever.”
He has also cautioned politicians against using, “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.”
He also emphasised that 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.”
He has warned against deceptive leadership.
He said it was sad that 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.