IT makes good reading to hear top officials from the new dawn administration preach about the need for unity in the nation across the political divide.
Yes, it is nice to hear the UPND spokesperson, Mr Cornelius Mwape calling for an end to the culture of hatred, reprimanding his cadres of threatening civil servants perceived to be remnants of the Patriotic Front Regime.
We recall that the UPND secretary-general Mr Batuke Imenda recently spoke out against their cadres especially those who locked the Sinda District Commissioner’s office.
They were not happy that the local leadership was favouring those they claimed were PF-aligned in accessing the Constituency Development Fund.
But until the nation starts to see action being taken against such offenders by the ruling party, their public statements will continue to be treated as mere rhetoric.
Mr Mweetwa was right to advise UPND functionaries to stop issuing statements threatening civil servants in the name of the ruling party because Zambia does not exclusively belong to members of the governing party.
Mr Mweetwa, the Minister of Information and Media as well as Chief Government Spokesperson called for unity and co-existence among Zambians irrespective of their divergent views.
He said it is against the Constitution for some UPND non-position carrying members to preach discrimination against other people on the basis of party affiliation.
Mr Mweetwa was referring to statement by a UPND stalwart, Mr Beene Hachoombwa who has warned Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa to remove from the civil service purported PF remnants.
He warned that should Mr Kangwa, the top civil servant fail to deal with what the UPND considers remnants of the PF, the party shall mobilise its cadres and wage protests against senior civil servants.
Mr Hachoombwa claimed that these are hijacking the policies of the new dawn administration.
In their place, Mr Hachoombwa wants those aligned to the UPND to be employed. He forgets that the civil service is staffed by nonpartisan Zambians.
Mr Hachoombwa claims to be a member of Presidential Hakainde Hichilema’s campaign team for the 2021 general elections and is therefore not an ordinary cadre.
Whatever he says can be viewed as carrying the weight of the UPND’s top leadership. The best the UPND could do is to take disciplinary action against him and show others that divisive talk will not be accepted.
It is their closeness to the powers-that-be that emboldens them to issue such statements although Mr Mweetwa thinks “Those of our members who do not have substantive positions in the structures of the UPND should not be using the tag of the ruling party when expressing themselves.”
We agree with Mr Mweetwa that politics of hatred in Zambians should be dispensed with and buried because Zambians were one people and that the country should never descend into a situation where citizens should be identifying each other through partisan lenses.
But that is what is being seen if the recent happenings are the Registrar of Societies is anything to go by or the large number of officers who have been dumped at Cabinet Office since the change of government.