RENOWNED politician Katele Kalumba has advised Zambians who share the passion of a united Zambia to support President Lungu and to reject political parties with elements of elitism and regionalism.
Dr Kalumba, a former MMD national secretary, who supported United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema’s candidature in the January 20 presidential election, said after deep reflection, consultation and reason, he has decided to render his support to President Lungu.
“I have decided to formally and publicly declare my unflinching support for the Patriotic Front party under President Edgar Lungu’s leadership.
“President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has demonstrated a sense of humility and accommodation. A lawyer by profession, he has avoided elitism. These qualities are the ingredients that are required to unify all the regions of our country. I support him,” Dr Kalumba said.
He said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that President Lungu beat great odds and ascended to the presidency of Zambia.
Dr Kalumba appealed to PF and MMD members to construct a lasting unity and avoid mistrust if the country is to survive elitism and division.
He said the pact that MMD leaders have worked on with the PF is on the principle of necessity and not convenience.
“We know too well that the hopes of Mr Hichilema were, unfortunately, dashed away in spite of all the efforts put in by many, including myself as a sympathiser. What went wrong? Elitism and fears of regionalism defeated the UPND. These elements offend the political sense of many Zambians,” Dr Kalumba said.
He said few people outside Luapula Province perhaps know the role he played in the popularisation of PF.
“I call upon my dear friends who share in the passion for our united Zambia to support President Lungu and the PF. What President Lungu and the PF are fighting against may not appear visible or clearly articulated, yet it is real. President Lungu’s anti-elitism and PF grassroots leadership sense may be the only armour we have right now against the forces of negative imitation of everything anti-One Zambia, One Nation,” Dr Kalumba said.
The veteran politician said he wants to prevent dangerous forces of division lurking in the backyard of a known political party.
“I do not support forces of division. I instead advocate rational approaches to public policy issues,” Dr Kalumba said.
He said he is one of the few remaining founder members of the MMD, a party whose weight he once carried.