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HARRY Kalaba is right that the onus is on President Hakainde Hichilema to unite the country by inviting opposition leaders to discuss unity, peace, harmony, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Mr Kalaba, who is president of the Citizens First party said President Hichilema is the father of the nation and should therefore invite the opposition leaders.

Mr Kalaba said President Hichilema, as the father of the nation was expected to be preaching unity, reconciliation and forgiveness each time he had a chance to communicate to the people he was presiding over.

President Hichilema while in Chipata for the ordination of auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Chipata, Gabriel Phiri at the weekend urged the opposition political leaders to help unite the country.

Yes, the country needs to heal from the fractious August 12, 2021 general elections that ushered into government the United Party for National Development (UPND), dislodging the Patriotic Fromt.

While there have been calls especially from the Church for dialogue among the opposition parties, the main players have not heeded the calls.

The UPND and PF, the country’s main political parties have continued to be cagey against any talk of dialogue.

The situation has not been helped by the new administration’s fight against corruption which has been perceived to be directed only against those who served during the PF regime.

The PF on the other hand claims corruption under the UPND is being ignored.

Moreover, chances of real reconciliation between the UPND and PF appear to be slim what with the constant claims that the former ruling party plundered the government resources.

But even against this background, there is no reason why there should be so much acrimony between the two parties.

And even if the UPND is not comfortable with the PF, it should still reach out to the emerging parties.

Mr Kalaba appears to be ready when he says the opposition political party leaders would ever remain willing and ready to sit with President Hichilema to discuss their differences and begin to preach messages of love, harmony, forgiveness and reconciliation instead of harassing each other.

“President Hichilema is right when he says the opposition should help unite the country. But it is upon the head of State as the father of the nation to call upon the opposition when he sees that the country is getting disunited,” Mr Kalaba said.

Constant engagements between the government and opposition would help them address the contentious issues facing the country.

Like Mr Kalaba, we are also waiting to hear President Hichilema to begin preaching messages of reconciliation and forgiveness and discourage agents of the state from harassing opposition political party leaders.

“We should stop promoting tendencies that divide our country. The leadership should stop being hypocritical and be real because Zambians can see the bitterness in some of the actions government has taken against some citizens.

There must be time to heal internally which healing could easily extend to citizens and the country would certainly get united. I want to hear our President speak about reconciliation,” said Mr Kalaba.

Yes, it is President Hichilema who must reach out to the nation not as a sign of weakness but as the father of the nation.


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