By Chris Zumani Zimba
From the time President Lungu took office in 2013 as Head of State and Government on the Patriotic Front (PF) ticket, their political differences, hostility and personal hate as well as enemity with Hakainde Hichilema (HH), leader of the main opposition party in Zambia also started and has been worsening every year to date. Over the past few years, efforts by different local, regional and international players to bring the two Christian leaders together on one table and reconcile them have been futile. Although they live in the same town, President Lungu and HH have never met to discuss and resolve their political differences or made some efforts to reconcile between themselves as both political leaders and Christian brothers for the past years.
Although HH and his United National Party for Development (UPND) have never accepted Lungu as the legitimate Republican President since 2016 after a narrow and controversial defeat, Lungu and his PF folks have also generally acted in the hostile manner that make HH and his members feel constantly provoked and politically angry. While others argue that the political enemity and hate between the two seem to be fueled and perpetuated by their handlers because it breeds ‘silver and gold’ on their table, the fact remains that Lungu and HH, as Christians as well as exemplary leaders cannot be captured by anyone and for any reasons to sustain this pagan culture of un-forgiveness or disobey the gospel by practicing ‘hate your neighbor as you hate yourself’.
Moreover, the political behavior of Lungu and HH in terms of their perpetual hate, hostility, enemity and anger towards one another is contrary to the values of national unity and the spirit of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ especially that Zambia is both a constitutional democracy and Christian Nation. It is important to stress that Lungu and HH do not need the Commonwealth, SADC, ZCID, three church mother bodies or traditional leaders to reconcile, they just need individual good will to reach out to each other as exemplary political leaders and Jesus Christ in their hearts to practice love, forgiveness and reconciliation as Christian brothers. This is not novel, late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa and Michael Chilufya Sata left a good legacy of true political reconciliation among Christian politicians in Zambia.
If US President, Donald Trump and his ‘worst rival’ the North Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un did make mutual efforts to meet, reconcile and resolve their differences without any church leader or international body within 3 months, what stops the Zambian two political neighbors who can even cycle or walk to each other to do the same? It didn’t take 12 months or 3 years for President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition Raila Odinga to meet and reconcile in 2018; it only took few weeks for them to publicly confess their political transgressions to one another before man and God in the spirit of uniting Kenyans and steering national development. Thus, President Lungu and HH have no excuse to reconcile on their own as Christians as well as exemplary political leaders. But as long as they keep on listening to their political egos, close advisors or third party spoilers than Jesus Christ and national interest, their reconciliation remain futile or dead. It is embarrassing to note that the two only met on 20th June, 2018 since 2013 in Choma during the burial of Veteran politician and freedom fighter, Daniel Munkombwe at his Kabebya farm and only shook hands to greet each other in a protocol practice.
Chris Zumani Zimba is a Political Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher and Consultant