presidential inaugurationPRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has invited former president Kenneth Kaunda, fourth president Rupiah Banda and veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga to accompany him to Windhoek, Namibia, for the inauguration of that country’s newly elected President Hage Geingob, Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has announced.
President Lungu is scheduled to travel to Namibia on 20 March and for the first time in the country’s multiparty democracy, Zambia will see two former presidents walk the carpet with the incumbent at an international event.
Mr Kalaba announced yesterday that in the spirit of projecting unity of purpose in the country, President Lungu had decided to break the spectre of imaginary antipathy between former leaders and the serving President.
Mr Kalaba said President Lungu was determined to ensure that the spirit of One Zambia, One Nation continued to reflect in the character of citizens and the leaders both at home and abroad.
He told journalists at his office yesterday that President Lungu had deliberately made his decision to invoke the country’s history so that Zambians could remember their roots for which they stood proud and free at the dawn of independence. Mr Kalaba said President Lungu would be travelling to Namibia with Dr Kaunda, Mr Banda and Dr Mwaanga in his effort to show oneness and as a means of healing and reconciling the people.
“President Lungu is scheduled to travel to Windhoek, Namibia, on 21st March 2015 to attend the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Namibia Mr Hage Geingob. In the spirit of projecting unity of purpose as a country and strength in diversity, the President will be travelling to Namibia with first president Kenneth Kaunda, fourth president Rupiah Banda and veteran politician and former minister of Foreign Affairs Vernon Mwaanga,” Mr Kalaba said.
The Foreign Affairs minister said it was therefore important for the three former leaders to accompany him to Namibia because the South-West African country was a clear testimony of Zambia’s indelible role in the struggle for the liberation of Southern Africa.
Mr Kalaba said it was through Zambian’s united purpose and resolve that the country fought to bring freedom to other countries.
He said President Lungu wanted to continue with the legacy of unity and called on Zambians to “unite and fly the Zambian flag higher wherever they are as a symbol of our unity, peace, and stability, the virtues that have made us the envy of many in Africa and beyond, the virtues that will continue to help us to transcend any challenges”.
Mr Kalaba said Zambia should be ready to export the virtues of peace, unity and stability as the country interacted with the outside world.