Former Special Assistant to the President for Political Affairs in the Patriotic Front (PF) administration Chris Zumani Zimba has said President Hakainde Hichilema and his predecessor Edgar Lungu must be in talking terms.
Dr. Zimba, who served under Mr. Lungu, said President Hichilema and his predecessor should enjoy a good relationship as brothers because they are the only two surviving statesmen in Zambia.
He said President Hichilema and Mr. Lungu’s reconciliation should be beyond posing for nice church service pictures.
Dr. Zimba said President Hichilema is lucky because Mr. Lungu did not just willingly concede defeat and handover power in August 2021 but openly respects the seventh President.
“It doesn’t matter the intensity of social divide or extent of political differences at any given time, ECL and HH must be in talking terms as brothers because they are the only two surviving Presidents Zambia has. Moreover, President HH is blessed and lucky because, ECL did not just willingly concede defeat and handover power in August 2021, Lungu openly respects HH and always addresses him correctly as “His Excellency, The President of Zambia. During the seven years reign of President Lungu in State House, HH was stubbornly consistent to denounce the Presidency of ECL and always addressed him only as “Mr Lungu”, not or never His Excellency, The President of Zambia. In like manner, the UPND MPs at their peak in opposition maintained the same position by calling ECL as “Mr. Lungu” and never “His Excellency or The Republican President”. To a greater extent, this created a difficult situation for cabinet every time President Lungu attended a public event where HH was in attendance in fear of possible embarrassment or public ridicule of calling the Republican President a Mr. Lungu,” Dr. Zimba stated.
Dr. Zimba added that the political peace and reconciliation between HH and ECL is easier to execute now.
“Under the New Dawn Administration, the basis for engagement or mediation between HH and ECL is very fertile as all MPs and Lungu himself have maintained a respectful and humble posture by recognizing HH as the only and legitimate Republican President of Zambia. Based on the aforesaid, it is true to pose and stress that the political peace and reconciliation between HH and ECL is easier now to be executed than it was when HH was in the opposition; HH is lucky and blessed for this good political framework,” he said.
Dr. Zimba said it would be joyful to see true friendship of brotherhood and honest peaceful interaction between HH and ECL in order to foster love, peace and national unity.
“In fact, most stakeholders would be happy to see true friendship of brotherhood and honest peaceful interaction between HH and ECL in order to foster love, peace and national unity. As such, our well meaning mediators from the church, chiefs, NGOs, etc must not get tired trying to ensure that the two leaders start talking and develop a true spirit of brotherhood beyond those nice pictures Zambians see when they meet in funeral church services. Lastly, while HH needs the constitutional support and allegiance of all well meaning Zambians in order to peacefully govern and develop this republic, it is also gruesomely true to note that ECL needs the social respect, political dignity and treatment worth a former president and political statesman from everyone,” Dr Zimba said.
Dr. Zimba was appointed as President Edgar Lungu’s Special Advisor for Politics to replace controversial Kaizer Zulu in December, 2019.
At the time of his appointment, Dr Zimba was a strategic thinker and planner for the Constitution Reform and Education Coalition (CRECO), for which he was partly responsible for conceptualizing.