Late former President Frederick Chiluba taught me politics of service and not for personal aggrandizement, Forum for Democracy and Development President Edith Nawakwi has said.
And Ms. Nawakwi says traditional leaders throughout the country have a responsibility to unite the nation and its political leadership.
Addressing over 100 headmen in Chief Nyanje in Sinda district yesterday, Ms. Nawakwi thanked late President Dr. Chiluba for teaching her politics of service and not self.
Ms. Nawakwi said that the high levels of poverty the country was experiencing and particular in rural areas was as a result of selfishness among leaders.
She said that it was shocking that Eastern Province which was once a productive province has become poorer because of selfish political leadership.
Ms. Nawakwi said the type of politics nowadays was not the kind Dr. Chiluba taught young politicians.
“I was a young woman when I was taught politics by President Chiluba in 1990. All we wanted was to do better for Zambia. All we wanted was to make Zambia a poverty free nation,’ said Ms. Nawakwi.
She said it was sad and disheartening that 50 years of independence, people were still living in abject poverty amidst plenty, women still gave birth on the floor in most health centres.
Ms. Nawakwi said although she comes from a small Namwanga tribe, she did not believe in tribal politics like other political parties did.
She said tribal politics have destroyed the nation, adding that Zambia was above tribal politics.
Ms. Nawakwi observed that the tribal politics which were being promoted had the potential of creating disunity in the nation.
She said it was time Zambians supported a female president for change and see what meaningful change could come along.
Ms. Nawakwi noted with sadness that poverty will continue to hit Zambia because of a leadership which thought that Lusaka was the only place in the country which needed development.
“We voted for the Patriotic Front in 2011 out of the message of ‘more money in the pocket’. Has PF given us that money they promised? Are those the kind of politics you want, politics of deception for over 50 years,” she asked.
Ms. Nawakwi said the country had a challenge of meeting the MDGs in sanitation, health and education for all because of poor and unworkable policies of the PF.
Ms. Nawakwi observed that Zambians living in rural Zambia were not considered for service, adding that the leadership should always be of service and not self.
“There is too much stealing in government in Lusaka and the money which is supposed to come here in Sinda for developmental purposes ends up in pockets in Lusaka. This is a trend FDD will bring to an end. This is why we have decided to come today to ask you our fathers to give us a go ahead and meet your people. This is the main reason we have come to knock on the door,” she said.
Ms. Nawakwi also begged headmen to support a female candidate in 2016 for the Presidency if they wanted change.
“Men have ruled this country for over 50 years now but let’s look at what they have done. It is time for a female president to take over Zambia and change things. Just give us five years and see how far we shall positively change the nations’ political and economic governance,” she said.
And Ms Nawakwi observed that headmen have a responsibility to unite the nation and stop politics of violence.
She said the current politics of violence should be denounced because they have a negative impact in the development of the nation.
“You have a responsibility to stop violence in politics by saying no to it. You will have more politicians coming here, welcome them, they are your children too. HH (Haikainde Hichilema) who is my younger brother will be here, welcome him. Nevers (Mumba) are going to come, welcome him. (Mike) Mulongoti will come here, welcome him too,” said Ms Nawakwi.
The FDD president has launched her 2016 presidential campaigns in Sinda with the message of women first in the 2016 elections.