THE call by the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) not to politicise the Independence Day is timely and welcome.
It is timely in that everything now has become political at the expense of unity and development.
Independence Day reminds us of our liberation from colonial rule. This calls for reflection by all Zambians regardless of the political party one belongs to.
We all need to ask ourselves critical questions of what we have achieved as a nation the past 59 years we have enjoyed our independence.
As ZCCB secretary Fr Francis Mukosa clearly put it, we all should come together and celebrate for the purpose of national unity is peace.
Prior to Independence Day which falls on October 24, the country has another very important day that could help shape the Independence celebrations, the National Day of Reconciliation, Prayer and which falls on October 18.
As a Christian nation, we should look to God to help us realise the importance of unity and peace by forgiving each other and reconciling as we head towards Independence Day.
It is important that we all take this day seriously and unite for the common good of the country.
For once, let us all put our political affiliations aside and set the agenda for the country to forge ahead in unity and peace.
Independence Day should serve as a day for self introspection. We all need to be accountable for what we have done to contribute to the development of the country, be it at personal, institutional or indeed national level.
Have we done enough to sustain the country’s peaceful trajectory or have we been fuelling violence? Have we set a firm ground for generations to come?
Let us all for once embrace each other, hold hands and move forward together as one Zambia. It is only when we meet for a common goal that we shall build the country in all spheres.
Economic growth the New Dawn administration is trying to foster may be difficult to achieve if the country remains divided. Politics are essential in a democratic space but knowing when to apply them is cardinal.
It is not everything that needs to be politicised. Events like Independence Day in one that does not require politicising because our forefathers who fought to liberalise us from colonial rule did it for the country and not individuals.
They sacrificed their lives for the country, not politicians, religious leaders or indeed any specific grouping but for all, including generations yet to come.
As we head towards October 24, let us all put the interest of the nation first and forget our personal gains. Let us remember that without the sacrifice of the few, Zambia will not be the land of the ‘Proud and Free’.
It is therefore imperative that we do not politicise this day for the sake of peace and unity.
Let us all look to the positives that describe us as Zambians, that sets us apart from others and that which holds us together as a nation.
A nation with more than 70 ethnic groupings that move as one people and we need to continue embracing the One Zambia One Nation motto!