Four Nsenga Chiefs of Petauke District in Eastern Province have strongly defended the originality of President Edgar Lungu, contrary to assertions by sections of society that the Republican President is a foreigner.
The Traditional leaders namely Senior Chief Kalindawalo of the Nsenga Speaking people, along with Chiefs Mumbi, Nyamphande and Chieftainess Nyanje, have described as false and insulting continued assertions mainly by some opposition politicians that President Edgar Lungu is not a Zambian but a Malawian.
People’s Party President Mike Mulongoti is for instance among individuals who have incessantly charged that President Edgar Lungu is not a Zambian but a Malawian from the border near Chief Kambombo of Chama.
However Senior Chief Kalindawalo of the Nsenga Speaking people said they are shocked that former government leaders can sink so low to fabricate and perpetuate falsehoods concerning President Lungu’s parentage and nationality.
Speaking in an interview at his Palace in Petauke District, yesterday, Senior Chief Kalindawalo who was flanked by the chiefs, declared that President Lungu is a Zambian from Mukwama Village , which is about 20 km north of Petauke Boma.
“The Head of State comes from within Kalindawalo, both parents, from the Father’s side comes from Headman Mukwama and on the mother’s side he’s coming from Simambumbu. The other family is at Chiputula village. He is well settled in Kalindawalo”, said Snr Chief Kalindawalo.
The senior chief further disclosed that President Lungu’s roots are entrenched in the lineage of the headmanship of Mukwama Village.
The traditional leader said President Lungu is not just a subject but a national asset who should be supported by all well-meaning and peace loving Zambians to govern the country and realise his development agenda for the country.
And Chief Mumbi also of Petauke District added that President Lungu’s roots are inherently and deeply planted in Chief Kalindawalo’s area and that the Nsenga people are humbly proud to have him as Head of State.
He challenged people doubting President Lungu’s roots to immediately cease their smearing campaign on the president’s lineage and citizenship.
And Chieftainess Nyanje also said told ZANIS at her palace she was shocked to hear reports that her “ own son “ was being labelled a foreigner.
Chief Nyamphande also said it is unfortunate that politicians of nowadays, in an apparent reference to UPP leader Mulongoti , are not pragmatic and focus on trivialities of character assassination instead of providing alternatives to advance the country’s socio-economic development.
“The ( ongoing ) debate around President Lungu’s origins demonstrates failure by the opposition to deal with real issues in the country, “ he said.
He has challenged any politician and Zambian citizen and other interested parties to come to Petauke District and ascertain the truth.
“If someone wanted to find out about the President’s origins, they would have without having to go to great lengths to spread innuendo which has no bearing on reality”, said Chief Nyamphande.
The traditional leaders and President Lungu’s kinsmen said they are baffled that this matter has resurfaced again three years after it first cropped up.
They explained that Former Vice President Dr Guy Scott, who was then acting as President after the death of President Michael Sata, sent State agents to verify Mr Lungu’s parentage.
And Elders from the Nsenga Royal Establishment ( ENRE ) expressed disappointment that people branding the Head of State a foreigner have served in government before and are reported to be in-laws from the past.
Elder Phillip Daka , who served as permanent secretary to Prime Minister Malimba Masheke, Vice Presidents Patrick Mwanawasa, Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda and Lt General Christon Tembo said he is amazed at Zambian politician’s penchant for smearing other people’s roots.
Mr. Daka in an interview with ZANIS regretted that Zambian politicians have developed a syndrome of tainting the Parentage of serving Heads of State.
“It amazes me because it’s a syndrome, we were talking the same thing doubting Kaunda, we talked the same thing about Chiluba, we were talking about Mwanawasa coming from a parent from Malawi, why this syndrome?” wondered the retired permanent secretary.
His colleagues Maziko Banda and Masiye Madengo collectively said people smearing President Lungu’s parentage are ” failed politicians looking for illegitimate pathways to State House.”
Mr. Banda, a war veteran said Zambians should not give an hear to such politicians because they are bent on inflaming the country through divisive statements.
And speaking from Mukwama village, President Lungu’s cousin Joyce Miliya Zulu said President Edgar Lungu’s father, Padule Lungu was born in Mukwama village while his mother Zanalesi Zulu was born in Simambumbu village in Petauke District.
She further explained that President Lungu’s Grandfather Saili Chilekwa Lungu and Grandmother Sinala Lungu were also born in Mukwama village.
Pearson Banda who is Headman Mukwama said President Lungu’s father Padule Lungu and Grandfather Saili Chilekwa Lungu are buried in Mukwama village and he is ready to take anyone to see their graves.
And it was learnt by ZANIS that Ms. Mainess Lungu who is President Lungu’s aunt resides in Mukwama Village, is the only surviving sibling of President Lungu’s Father .
Others include President Lungu’s cousins and Bernard Lungu who were sired by Betterman Lungu, the younger brother to President Lungu’s father.