Freedom fighters in Luapula Province have implored Zambians to embrace patriotism, unity and hard work ahead of the 52nd independence anniversary.
Lazarus Malenga 88, of Shulu Nkandu village in chief Sokontwe’s area in Milenge district, said the freedom fighters were driven by patriotism, unity of purpose and hard work to usurp power from the colonial rulers.
Mr. Malenga said patriotism, national unity and hard work were prerequisites for love and peace which are key to attaining national sovereignty and economic progression.
He said the Zambians were known for the culture of unity, hard work, and selflessness.
Mr. Malenga, a former conductor for Difon Malenga and Alfred Mandona bus services that serviced Milenge district in the early 1960s, was speaking from his residence in an interview with ZANIS on Thursday.
He said any dissenting views from patriotism, national unity and hard work were a recipe for instability and should not be condoned.
He charged that people should learn to respect both sitting and past presidents because leaders are appointed by God.
“Presidents are God’s envoys here on earth and will punish erring citizens on his behalf,” Mr. Malenga said.
He reminded Zambians that peace was not cheap and that the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation was not in vain but an affirmative action for peace to reign.
He also reminded those in power that they are presiding on God’s people on the principle of love that the Lord Jesus Christ preached when he was on earth.
“Zambians, especially the government leaders should embrace Christian values in conformity with Christ’s teachings of love to earn peace and economic stability,” he added.
Mr. Malenga observed that the golden age politicians have the duty to stir Zambia to its economic success.
He, however, noted that this calls for hard work, selflessness, honesty and impartiality for both the led and the leaders at every level of the governance structure is vital.
Meanwhile, a 78-year-old freedom fighter of Chipe village in chief Sokontwe chiefdom said the self-rule was achieved at a great price.
Moffat Mapulanga said some people were killed while others were maimed to seize power from the white rulers.
Mr. Mapulanga retaliated that Zambians should embrace patriotism, unity and hard work ahead of the independence anniversary and beyond.
He said as the nation prepares to celebrate the 2016 independence anniversary, people must reflect on the immense sufferings and the loss of lives that the country encountered during the liberation struggle.
He charged that the best way to honour the fallen heroes and heroines of the independence struggle was to preserve the peace and tranquility that the country has enjoyed for the past 52 years.
Mr. Mapulanga said patriotism and hard work should not be exceptional under the self-rule in the quest for the country to achieve economic prosperity.
He observed that since independence, Zambia has recorded significant improvements in various sectors of the economy.
He added that even rural districts such as Milenge have a feel of development and cited the construction of Milenge boarding secondary school and the ultra-modern district hospital as some of the remarkable developmental projects which are visible today.
Mr. Mapulanga further noted that the modern generation of Zambians was free to own property and that the transport sector has magnificently improved.
He noted that property ownership was almost a tall-order during the colonial rule while people had to cover long distances on foot because transport was scarce.
He has since urged Zambians to join in the celebrations while allowing unity, peace, and love to be a permanent feature of the country’s culture.