Chief Chikanta of the Tonga-speaking people in Dundumwezi, has said that every political leader has the responsibility to restrain their cadres from engaging in political violence during and after elections.
Speaking when President Lungu paid a courtesy call on him and chief Mapanza in Choma, Chief chikanta said the country should not disintegrate because one person wants to be President.
The traditional leader said the country must remain peaceful even after the August 12 General elections.
“We will surely take that responsibility of maintaining peace seriously, the country can not disintegrate because one person wants to be President whether you or the opposition.
The country must remain peaceful, elections are just one day, thereafter, we remain Zambians,” Chief Chikanta said.
“So we must not destroy the country by engaging in political violence, everybody must take account of their actions. It’s people who make choices,” he said.
And Chief Chikanta said President Lungu is free to visit any part of Southern province because claims by some opposition parties that it’s their stronghold does not hold.
“When in Lusaka people deceive you that Southern province is UPND stronghold, but you can see how people are happy to see you outside as the Head of State. If it was not for Covid – 19 you would have seen a lot of people who want to see you. Issues of strongholds do not hold, we want to see you more in rural areas. Let’s play our roles responsibly otherwise you are welcome to any part of Southern province,” Chief Chikanta said.
And speaking earlier President Lungu said he was happy with a warm welcome accorded to him by the people of Southern province.
“Your Royal Highnesses, I can see alot of joy outside and it reflects the love of our people. Sir, this country has been a peaceful country, one Zambia one Nation, so mostly my prayer is talk to these people, these two political groups who are fighting, who are killing each other, destroying properties, it is not worthy dying for President Lungu or Hakainde Hichilema, you will lose your life,” President Lungu said.
“Destroying properties should not be tolerated. Those who are known call them and talk to them and tell them what you are doing is wrong because you have an important role to play in maintaining law and order, security and development, so don’t underestimate your role to maintain peace,” the Head of State said.
Chief Mapanza said he was happy with the developmental agenda embarked on by President Lungu and the PF Government.
“We are behind you because of your development in this country we are so happy. Continue your journey and we want you to continue governing even after August 12,” Chief Mapanza said.
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu has hailed the formidable team that late first Republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda constituted in his leadership hierarchy.
President Lungu said that there is a need to give credit to past leaders who played a critical role in the country’s development.
Speaking shortly after visiting late politician Mainza Chona’s gravesite in Southern Province, the head of state described the late diplomat as a true hero who played a pivotal role in the country’s development.
Mr Mainza was a politician and diplomat who served as the third vice president of Zambia from 1970 to 1973 and Prime Minister on two occasions, from 25 August 1973 to 27 May 1975 and from 20 July 1977 to 15 June 1978 and was instrumental in the formation of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) under which he was the Secretary-General.
Mr Mainza also held various government positions, including Justice Minister (1964–1968), Home Affairs Minister (1968–1969) and Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney-General (1975–1978). He was also Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China from 1984 to 1989 and later served as Ambassador to France until 1992.
President Lungu therefore called for the need to emulate the kind of leadership exhibited by Dr Kaunda, which embraced all tribes across the country.
“We need to learn from the exemplary and humble leadership of Mr Mainza Chona who was instrumental in the formation of UNIP” President Lungu recalled and reminded other leaders to do good for others as opposed to claiming ownership as founder members of a party at the expense of unity.