Amidst the fear and uncertainty that gripped Kitwe during Thursday's protracted vote counting and court-imposed media blackout, something particularly ugly was perpetrated in Bulangililo. Apparently some misguided Zambian citizens residing in the area are alleged to have taken it upon themselves to destroy the house of worship favoured by some of their neighbors. I do not think that it matters which of Zambia's many holy places was burned, I am much more concerned by the idea that this heinous act was somehow perpetrated in the name of "patriotism" to Zambia. I think that the vast majority of their fellow citizens do not agree with their concept of how to show their pride and uphold the honour of the nation.
By contrast, the victims of this tragedy have by all accounts acted with supreme restraint and respect for the law and their neighbors. Even with one of the alleged perpetrators in their midst and in possession of items stolen from them in the night, the congregation sought only to demand that said individual surrender himself to the proper authorities and explain himself to the satisfaction of the law. Truly the behaviour of exemplary citizens that any nation could be proud to call their own. I can only assume that the officers of law will diligently seek out these alleged miscreants so that they can face the due process of the justice system.
I have no doubt that Zambia's interfaith community will rally behind these unfortunate victims, and condemn the perpetrators and their acts as unholy. I am proposing a third response as well, to restore the good name of Zambian Patriots. I am asking that each citizen ask themselves if the actions of these few should stand as a testament to your nation's character. If your answer is a resounding, "No!", then I task you with undoing this wrong that was done in your name. Seek out these paragons of good citizenship and help them to restore what was unjustly taken from them. Restore not only their humble house of worship, but their faith in their fellow citizens, and the world's faith in Zambian Patriotism.
Thanks to the good people at FlavaFM, we have some photos of the extent of the damage, and a brief written account of the scene.