PRESIDENT Lungu says he will not condone tribalism in the management of State affairs.
Mr Lungu has also urged youths appointed to higher offices to be ambassadors of their counterparts and work hard to encourage appointing authorities to appoint more young people to positions of leadership.
Speaking when he swore in Chanda Kabwe as Central Province permanent secretary, the President said he will not subscribe to tribalism or regionalism in his appointments and deployment of Government officers.
The President said he appoints people on merit and deploys them to areas where he thinks they will serve well regardless of their ethnicity.
“I am saying so because one chief from Central Province is reported to have questioned the appointment of Mr Kabwe because he (Kabwe) does not come from there,” President Lungu said.
Mr Lungu expressed shock at the traditional leader’s objection to the appointment and has summoned him to discuss the matter.
He called on chiefs to maintain the ‘One Zambia one nation’ motto “in thought and in deed” as they are in direct contact with the people.
The President said the ‘One Zambia one nation’ motto “is here to stay” as Zambia is bigger than one group of people, tribe and ethnicity.
“Go there and serve them to the best of your ability and show them that you are one of them,” the President instructed Mr Kabwe.
Mr Lungu said everyone has relations with ethnicity in one way or another because the country has tribes, but this does not mean that people should be confined to places they originated from.
The head of State called on the House of Chiefs to find time to carry out introspection to avoid becoming a vehicle for dividing people.
“There are good traditional leaders and some who are becoming an embarrassment to the tradition of chiefdoms,” he said.
Mwanwhile, House of Chiefs chairperson Senior Chief Ntambu commended the President for encouraging unity in the country.
Chief Ntambu said chiefs should not encourage tribalism as this can breed division in the country.
“As chiefs we are ready to hold meetings to encourage unity and oneness except we are short of resources right now,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has urged youths appointed to higher offices to be ambassadors of the youth and work hard to encourage Government to appoint more young people to positions of leadership.
The President said his confidence in the youths will be eroded if young people like Mr Kabwe who are appointed to high offices disappoint him.
“I think you deserve the appointment, but if you let me down, my confidence in the youths who we are trying to groom and hand over the mantle of leadership to will be eroded,” he said.
And speaking in an interview with journalists, Mr Kabwe thanked the President for appointing him and pleaded to work hard to encourage the appointment of more young people to high positions.
Mr Kabwe said he will work with all stakeholders including chiefs to develop Central Province.
“We will look at the potential which Central Province has and use it to bring life to the province,” he said.
Mr Kabwe also promised to improve service delivery in the province and fight corruption to fulfil government policies.