COUNCIL of Churches in Zambia president Saulos Phaika says all Zambians must be involved in making peace possible.
During a CCZ organised youths against political violence meeting under the theme ‘Let us have a violence free election’ in Chipata on Wednesday, Reverend Phaika said making peace was a responsibility all the people must undertake.
“Let us make violence free elections possible, Ubuntu is our principle of ‘I am, because we are’. Allow me to give you biblical context of the concept of peace as alluded in Mathew 5 and 9, ‘blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God’,” he said. “I take note what the Bible is saying. Blessed are the peacemakers not talkers, wishers or diverters of attention or pretenders. Making peace is a responsibility we all must undertake. We do not need police permit in making peace possible.”
Rev Phaika said all it takes to make peace is for people to love one another.
“The Bible is telling you and me gathered today and those that are following us that we have no excuse in whatsoever. When God created us, he said ‘let us create man and woman in our own image and likeliness’,” he said. “This implies that we must behave, talk, commune with each
other like him. Whose child are you and whom are you representing or misrepresenting? What is going on there is the lots of humanity, our cultural values as Africans, that communal lifestyle of we not I concept has been lost.”
Rev Phaika noted that there’s been segregation, intimidation, frustrations, harassment in markets, bus stops and compounds including a phrase of no-go zone or regions.
“There are a number of dormant, frustrated and disappointed youths longing aimlessly, increased levels of tribalism, regionalism and hate speech is almost becoming a new normal,” he noted. “Alcohol and drug abuse is rampant as a result of high levels of poverty and also unemployment. Why is it going on? I think we have lost the sense of national unity and identify that we inherited from our forefathers. There is no decisive action sometimes from the Zambia Police. This has made certain categories of people to think that they are above the law.”
Rev Phaika said ignorance and misinformation, desperation to make money and getting rich has made many youths lose their sense of purpose.
“Friends, countrymen, what we are doing, we are playing with fire and taking things for granted. When peace is lost, it is very difficult to retain or regain,” he warned. “What must be going on, we ought to be united and inclusive nation, leaving no one and no region behind. We need a purpose driven society or lives that are anchored on love and being a brother or sister’s keeper. Saying no to violence, tribalism, hate speech and regionalism but saying yes to peace for one another.”
Rev Phaika urged the youths to refuse to be hired for violence like what had been witnessed.
“You reap what you sow. Our actions have the capacity and capabilities that can negatively impact the next generation,” said Rev Phaika. “Let us reign in peace, that we could rest in peace. Building a good legacy is a call for each other and each one of us should seriously and critically ask these questions; What kind of a Zambia do you want to leave for your children’s children and the generations to come? What is your role or my role in finding solutions to these issues? Peace building must become a personal responsibility of each one of us, those around us and those we interact with.”
The overall goal of the project is promoting peace building amongst different political players across the country.