Opinion: Someone Has To Take The First Step To Halt Festering Political Hostilities

It is very clear that the arrest of opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema has not gone well with certain quarters of the Zambian community.

People have been hurting and they have no outlet to pour out their anger. The police and Patriotic Front top leadership have been hard on the threat that they will deal with any acts of protest over the arrest and detention of Hichilema. Naturally some people have been hesitant to take up to the streets given the promise of the full wrath of police action. But the absence of widespread protests should not fool anyone that everything is well.

There have been sporadic incidences of protests that the police and intelligence system have quelled. But there has been a quiet beef up of security in Southern Province for example and people are quietly irritated and not sure how to react to these developments. They have been watching and quietly complaining but they are jittery about the promise of high handedness.

Even educated discourse in the community has been very guarded; people are not sure of one another and are not expressing their true emotions. Only the freer well known political social media political fundamentalists and propagandists have been the only ones freely and to some extent recklessly talking about Hichilema’s treason cross.

President Edgar Lungu on his part has done his best to push a business as usual stunt which politically may be reasonable but our prayer is that he does acknowledge that the country is sitting on a landmine.

Someone has to be bold enough and acknowledge the deep seated anger that sits with a certain corner of our country and not take the fragile serenity currently going on as a sign that everything is tucked under control.

While Patriotic Front cadres were allowed to march freely and render solidarity to their leaders allegedly given death threats, the same cannot be done for the opposition to render solidarity with their incarcerated leader. They have twice have met police force to scatter their planned political gatherings and to imagine that they are quietly soaking it all in is being politically naive.

Do not forget the hundreds of people still arrested in post election violence which is hardly an environment for peace building in any country seeking peace.

Someone has to take up the baton of dialogue although we are not sure who given that even our churches are deeply divided based on political loyalties.

For now we can only hope for the best in our beautiful country.

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