AFTER weeks of differences in the Patriotic Front (PF), members of the ruling party have now agreed to bury the hatchet and prepare as a team, for the January 20, 2015 presidential election.
The differences that rocked the PF shortly after putting to rest the party’s founding leader and Republican President Michael Sata caught the attention of many Zambians who felt that this was not a healthy path the party was taking.
Time and again, leaders of particularly political parties in any country are constantly reminded of the need to remain united to ensure smooth running of any given nation’s affairs.
For instance, here at home, Lusaka Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu implored politicians during the burial of President Sata to ensure that there was peace and unity in the country after the demise of the Head of State.
Such an appeal did not only apply to one group, but to different political leaders affiliated to different political parties.
Following the announcement of the election date by Acting President Guy Scott, time for all has surely been short, especially that campaigns have already started by some leaders vying for the presidential office.
One thing about competing for political office is that no one sympathises with a competitor who seemingly faces problems. Instead such difficulties may be used to one’s advantage during the campaigns.
So it is advisable that the ruling party avoids further differences within its ranks lest the opposition takes advantage of any such loopholes and arm themselves to the teeth.
Differences so far witnessed in the ruling party needed to be ironed out quickly, with reconciliation being the trigger to a harmonised and united PF.
This should not only be through pronouncements but it should actually settle the perceived tense atmosphere in the ruling party ahead of the general conference this weekend where the party’s presidential candidate will be picked.
A reconciled party will mean the PF remaining united even after the general conference slated for Kabwe’s Mulungushi Rock of Authority.
Dr Scott has rightly indicated that the PF wants to reconcile all PF members even as it prepares for the general conference. This is a very welcome development because many of the party’s supporters are surely not amused by events witnessed in the past few days.
Political reconciliation is cardinal in the ruling party, especially in view of the forthcoming presidential by-election.
The benefits of a united PF will not be felt by the PF members alone but all Zambians since, as a party in power, it will help to hold the nation together, hence it is important to look at matters from a bigger picture rather than the interests of a few individuals.
Political discourse in Zambia has continued to transform over the past decades and lessons should be learnt along the way, even in this situation which the ruling party has found itself in.
This way, even in the future, such happenings can be avoided, especially those that may be seen to be a threat to unity.
It is pleasing that leaders of the ruling party are on course toward resolving their differences and remain as united as before. This is good not only for the PF and its members but for the country at large.