AT a time when certain sections of the political divide appears hell bent on causing despondency and mayhem in the country, we hope politicians would stop and reflect on the advice from a Catholic Bishop – that politicians must not divide the people. He is right. Catholic Bishop of Mpika Diocese Justine Mulenga’s wise counsel should not fall on deaf ears. Zambians must agree as a people that they will not allow themselves to be divided on tribal lines by power-hungry individuals. Whatever their political differences, Zambians must accept that they are one people, and reject anyone who tries to divide and cause them to rise against one another. Bishop Mulenga said in Isoka that politicians should stop dividing people based on tribe and political affiliation. He stressed that they should always remember that the people they were dividing were Zambians before they belonged to various political parties. Of late, particularly after the recent students’ unrest at the University of Zambia Great East Road campus in Lusaka, the nation has seen how some politicians tried to hijack the tragic incident for selfish gain. The death of the fourth-year student, Vespers Shimuzhila was a tragedy for the family and the nation as a whole. Her funeral was supposed to be a unifying event, but that was not to be. Instead, the United Party for National Development (UPND) leadership for example behaved like they were the chief mourners and created an impression that other mourners were not welcome. Hence, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dora Siliya was subjected to insults at the funeral service. The UPND leadership watched quietly. None of the UPND leadership, not even their president, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, has condemned the unZambian behaviour and hate speech exhibited at Vesper’s funeral. It is a fact that the unrest at UNZA had a foreign hand as we reported. No one has disputed our story about a light truck that delivered used tyres at the campus. Those tyres were burnt on the Great East Road by some of the students who also stoned innocent motorists. At the funeral itself, the student population spotted black T-shirts whose origin has not been established. They could only have been readily available if someone had organised for their delivery. Zambia’s greatest asset has been the unity of her people despite their tribal and political affiliations. As Bishop Mulenga noted, Zambia was known for her peace and unity through the principle of “love your neighbour as you love yourself,” which the forefathers championed. It is this unity that Zambians must continue to embrace and write off politicians who do not share their values and confine them to the garbage heap. Yes, there are problems facing the nation but these can only be faced as a united force. You cannot boost agricultural production or tackle the economy amidst chaos. The ongoing Central Province Investment Forum and Expo for example is an example of how a country at peace ought to tackle its challenges – come to a roundtable “indaba” and exchange ideas. As Bishop Mulenga noted and we agree, “the starting point should be that we are Zambians and we are children of God who should love one another.” We should not allow myopic politicians to mislead the nation.