President Hakainde Hichilema and his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob yesterday led members of the diplomatic corps, defense chiefs and Zambians in laying wreaths at the freedom statue in remembrance of the independence fallen heroes and heroines.
The president arrived at the freedom statue at 09:40 hours while president Geingob who was guest of honor at the 58th commemoration of Zambia’s independence arrived five minutes later.
President Geingob was first to lay wreaths followed by president Hichilema, defense chiefs, Ambassadors and High Commissioners.
And in his homily, Zambia Army Chaplain Brigadier General Henry Matifeyo said independence calls for discipline and that Zambia would do better to maintain the respect she commands from other countries owing to its love and peace.
General Matifeyo also urged Zambians to uphold the tenets of Ubuntu adding that Zambia has also matured thereby bringing to reality the One Zambia One Nation motto.
And the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes-SACCORD- says this year’s Independence Day celebrations must be taken as an opportunity to reflect on some of the challenges the country faces and to devise solutions to the current problems.
SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe says the day must also be used to reform pieces of legislation that seek to contribute to the nation’s maintenance of peace considering that some of them have been a serious source of conflict as well as human rights violations.
In his independence message, Mr. Cheembe is of the view that going forward, all independence celebrations must consist of some progress made in reforming colonial pieces of legislation and should equally take stock of some other progressive pieces of legislation that the country enacts in the interest of citizens and the country.
Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia–TIZ-through its Executive Director Maurice Nyambe has called on all political players, both in the ruling party and the opposition, to jealously guard the peace and democracy that Zambians have enjoyed for many years, and to ensure that their political discourse and practice do not polarize the country along narrow partisan interests.
Mr. Nyambe says TIZ is cognizant that there remains real threats in the quest for democracy to thrive, many of which have emanated from the conduct of political players over the years in Zambia.
Still in independence news, Governance Activist Wesley Miyanda has called on all political parties to put aside their differences as the country celebrates Independence Day.
Mr. Miyanda says with the current happenings surrounding the recently held controversial by-elections in Kabushi and Kwacha, others may be demoralized from taking part in today’s activities.
The 58th anniversary of Zambia’s independence is being commemorated under the theme “Zambia at 58: promoting inclusiveness towards a sustainable social and economic recovery.”