ZAMBIANS should emulate the spirit of selflessness, sacrifice and conviction that characterized first republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda and his fellow freedom fighters, President Edgar Lungu has advised.
President Lungu said like one former American president said: “ask not what your nation can do for you; ask what you can do for your nation.”
“Only then can we fully realize the dream of a free and united Zambia, enjoying political, economic and social freedoms anchored in the deep belief of one Zambia, one nation,” he said.
President Lungu was speaking during the re-launch of Dr. Kaunda’s book titled; “Zambia shall be free”.
He urged Zambian educational authorities to include Dr Kaunda’s book in the school curricula, adding that people who did not know their background were like a tree without roots.
Mr Lungu said Dr Kaunda’s book was an incentive to posterity and the history of Zambia. He said the inability to document history through writing was one of Zambians’ lamentable failures.
“It is disheartening to note that if one is looking for information about us and our country, more often than not, such information can be found through writings by foreigners,” he said.
President Lungu said the re-launch of Dr Kaunda’s book, comes as a challenge to every Zambian who should bear the responsibility of not only informing society, but also leaving a record of a starting point for future generations to base their build up on their own record of their lives.
President Lungu said a society that does not record its history was a lost society.
“But more dangerous are the dangers such society faces in terms of being misled by callous individuals who promote sectional interests rather than societal interests,” he said.
President Lungu said inability to read and write was a risk to national security as society can be misled in an uninformed manner by self-serving propagandists seeking to influence society with vile ideas.
He, however, stated that he had great hope and faith in the collective wisdom of all Zambians to see through the deceit of the selfish minority who were bent on dividing Zambians.
“To safeguard our culture, our peace, and the needs of our future generations, we need to improve on our culture of reading and writing. This book comes as an inspiration that such hobbies are not insurmountable,” he said.
President Lungu said with the advent of technology, it was even much easier to write.
“This book was written under very difficult circumstances but tenacity, determination and love for one’s people made Dr. Kaunda easily surmount those challenges,” he said.
President Lungu said the book was a true testimony of Zambia’s true character as a peaceful people always desiring to co-exist with others peacefully regardless of colour, creed and gender.
He said the title of the book also spoke volumes about the determination of Zambia’s fore-fathers.
“We are privileged to have among us, legends such as KK, let us therefore not spoil this rare opportunity to learn from them, the lofty virtues that have sustained our nationhood,” President Lungu said.
He urged Zambians to build on Dr Kaunda’s gains and remain true to the cause and spirit of the founders of the great nation.
“KK, we are proud of you and your fellow compatriots who sacrificed their lives to give birth to Zambia. Your group, aptly described as a “generation of struggle” in Mr. Elijah Mudenda’s memoirs, is a generation we shall forever be proud of,” he said.
Mr Lungu urged those handling KK’s memoirs to ensure that they completed the important project so that the country could have the opportunity to appreciate the rare insights into Zambia’s path to nationhood.
“The re-launch of Zambia shall be a stark reminder of the shortage of literature on this very important phase of Zambia’s history and I therefore wish to take this opportunity to urge all Zambians to support the book industry by promoting a culture of reading among our young people,” he said.