Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has called on Zambians to bury their political differences and celebrate the country’s 50th independence jubilee in unity, harmony and oneness.
Mr Kalaba said Zambia was such a precious country that could not afford to be divided by political and tribal differences because the Golden independence jubilee the country was celebrating was a time of retrospection on the achievements and the failures the country had recorded.
He appealed to the opposition political parties to avoid seeing the Golden Jubilee as a Patriotic Front (PF) ceremony adding the ruling party only had the privilege of presiding over the governance of the country at a time it was marking its 50th independence anniversary.
Mr Kalaba told the Daily Nation in an interview that the Jubilee independence celebrations should be a time for all politicians to speak of peace and unity irrespective of their political affiliations and feelings.
He observed that there had being a lot of acrimony among Zambians and politicians and has called on the citizens to avoid the temptation of sowing seeds of division and despondency because Zambia was a country with one people despite having 73 ethnical groupings.
Mr Kalaba said Zambia had made remarkable achievements in her last 50 years and that it was important for citizens to be happy that the country had remained a united nation and a pioneer of democracy and respect for human rights in the region.
He said Zambians had in the last 50 years seen massive and unprecedented growth in economic infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, roads as well as the manufacturing industry and that it would be political and morally incorrect for any citizen to propose that the event should be boycotted.
“We expect a memorable jubilee celebrations and it is our expectation that Zambians shall go beyond their political affiliation and persuasions and unit as we converge to reflect on our achievements as a country. The 50th independence anniversary is not a PF function but for Zambians and my appeal to Zambians and all political parties is that let us not politicise the event. When I go to Morocco, I do not say I am from PF but Zambia,” Mr Kalaba said.
Mr Kalaba explained that the opposition political parties will be making a mistake to begin campaigning that Zambians should boycott the jubilee celebrations because this was an event that would make Zambians heal their political differences.
He said it was important for Zambians to come together and be happy that the country had continued to make political, economic and social progress without experiencing what other countries in the region had gone through.
And Mr Kalaba said government had invited all the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries for the country’s golden jubilee.
He said the countries in the region would be happy to join Zambia in celebrating the country’s 50th independence anniversary because Zambia contributed to the liberation of a number of countries in the region.