PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu and 26 Royal Highnesses in Southern Province have held a constructive, honest, frank and successful meeting in Livingstone on the tribal remarks attributed to Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General Davies Chama.
And President Lungu has agreed to launch three developmental projects in Southern Province in August and September this year namely the ground breaking for the tarring of the Bottom Road in Sinazongwe, the strategic plan for Chief Macha’s chiefdom and the Mbeza project of revamping the cooperatives movement in Chief Nalubamba’s area.
Presidential Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said the Head of State and his delegation of Ministers held a constructive, honest, frank and successful meeting with Southern Province Royal Highnesses.
Mr Chanda said the President met their Royal Highness concerning the controversial remarks that were attributed to Mr Chama.
He was addressing a media briefing outside Chrismar Hotel in Livingstone yesterday after a closed-door meeting between President Lungu, his delegation and 26 chiefs and chieftainesses of Southern Province.
“Our message to the President was loud and clear and the President does not feel offended nor do we feel offended,” he said.
Mr Chanda said the meeting was had been very fruitful and cordial between the two parties and the President requested their Roya Highnesses to come up with a concrete position paper for him to make a consideration.
“The conclusion of the meeting is that their Royal Highnesses will support the President in his bid to unite the country and have encouraged him to continue pushing the agenda of One Zambia One Nation theme.
“They also agreed to consolidate dialogue across all areas of life such as politics, religion, traditional affairs,” Mr Chanda said.
And speaking on behalf of all chiefs and chieftainesses in Southern Province during the closing ceremony, Chief Hamusonde said his team had a successful meeting with the Republican President.
“The chiefs of Southern Province have talked quite at large with the President and our message was quite clear. The President feels that he has not been offended in any way; neither do we feel we have been offended in any way. The President has taken everything we talked to him and we have left to him to think for himself and act for himself and he will come back to us quickly,” Chief Hamusonde said.
In his closing prayer after the meeting, Chief Chipepo shamed critics who thought the meeting would not take place as planned.
Chief Chipepo, who also quoted the Bible from Romans 13:1-7, said it was important for citizens to respect their leaders as they were chosen by God.
He also prayed that the people of Southern Province and Zambia at large should have a spirit of forgiving one another.
“We have to respect our President because whatever we say against him, we will be saying to the Zambian people. Those who thought this meeting would be a failure are ashamed,” he prayed.
“Thank you Mr President for the breakthrough of unity under One Zambia One Nation and I bless you as our leader and pray that you will find favour in the eyes of Zambians. We are proud to belong to the leadership of our humble President. We pray for other leaders to be humble too,” Chief Chipepo said in his prayer.
Meanwhile, Mr Chanda said President Lungu would undertake various developmental projects in Southern Province during the months of August and September this year.
He said Mr Lungu would be officiating at the ground breaking ceremony for the tarring of Bottom road in Sinazongwe and in the valley area.
“The contractor has since been paid part of the money and we will be instructing Secretary to the Treasury to release the remaining money so that Bottom Road is tarred.
We have to respect our President because whatever we say against him, we will be saying to the Zambian people.
“This is in addition to the improvement of power projects within the valley area,” Mr Chanda said.
He also said Mr Lungu accepted to launch two special projects in August and September 2015 namely the strategic plan for the chiefdom of Macha and the Mbeza project of revamping the cooperatives movement in Chief Nalubamba’s area.
“Chief Macha has invited Lungu to officiate at the lunch of the strategic plan and the President accepted to officiate.
“The plan is the modern way of managing the chiefdoms and villages.
The chief has devised a mechanism to improve governance at a village level. The chief will later on launch the project on sanitation and how to improve sanitation and household hygiene in October this year but all these will be encompassed under the strategic plan by Chief Macha,” he said.
Mr Chanda said the President found the project as a noble new way of looking at governance in chiefdoms and increasing the participation of chiefs.
He said the President also found the Mbeza Project of relaunching cooperatives in Chief Nalubamba’s area as a brilliant one as it fits well in the Government programme of regenerating the cooperative movement.
“Within that plan, the President has launched a presidential initiative to try and bring down the prices of mealie meal and the roll out of solar milling plants will start very soon. Part of these initiatives is what Chief Nalubamba will be doing,” Mr Chanda said.
He urged the provincial administration in Southern Province and other stakeholders to begin preparing for the various projects in readiness for President Lungu’s visitation in August and September this year.