A lot has been said about the conciliatory tone between the Patriotic Front (PF) and the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) in the recent past. Some had initially dismissed it as a mere window dressing exercise by the chief protagonists of political violence in the Zambian political landscape. No matter how one may look at it, the two political parties have been at each other’s necks for far too long. The loathe for each other has been heightening pushing the country on the edge political disintegration with citizens indoctrinated to only view themselves as either green or red. But quietly both sides have suffered heavy casualties. The most ordinary of their foot soldiers have been aggressors and victims in this all-consuming senseless violent cycle. Everybody has had an opinion but few have been willing to act. Everybody has been willing to pay lip service to the non-violence creed with no action. But now it seems enough blood has been shed for this violence to continue.
The two leading political parties seem to have come to their senses. There could have been no better candidates to lead this process than youth leaders that commandeer some of these blood thirsty youths. The people that have sounded the war drums to their unquestioning youth to maim each other in the name of politics.
It is gratifying to have seen honourables Stephen Kampyongo and Jean Kapata lead a Patriotic Front (PF) delegation to the UPND secretariat to consolidate the message of peace the two parties have been preaching. The UPND has Munji Habeenzu, lawyer Mulambo Haimbe and deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka at the heart of the process. Previously any such visits would have attracted sanctions from both ends. Coming in the aftermath of the elections where emotions were running high for the vanquished and perhaps celebrations high for the victors, this move could not have been timelier. It could appear this is a peace accord that could work. Maybe there was no need for Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland in the first place to teach political players how to talk to each other. It is our hope that this process that has youthful level stuff, graduates to the top two personalities, but that could be a long wait for now. We take off our hats for the men and women that have finally seen the light in elevating our politics to some measure of decency. After all Zambia has already shown the way on the continent as a leader of political decency and maturity. We hope political parties remain cordial and civil in their language to preserve the spirit of this very welcome accord.