THERE is no room for Southern Province to secede from the rest of Zambia on account of Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davis Chama’s statements, President Edgar Lungu has said.
President Lungu has chastised political leaders who believe they can be presidents of Zambia by dividing the country and called on Zambians to unite for the betterment of the country’s social and economic emancipation.
The Head of State said the way politics were being conducted in the country was suggesting that the country was on the verge of disintegration and he was not happy that after more than 50 years of independence, some people could still be advancing secession in a country that was enjoying unity.
President Lungu has called for dialogue between the traditional leadership in Southern Province and Government to discuss the differences they could have had with Mr Chama over his statements,
President Lungu said he was not going to allow any political leader to dismember Zambia with the hope of assuming the presidency, stating that heroes are only people who endeavour to unite the country and its people.
Speaking to journalists at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport soon after arriving from Malawi where he had gone for that country’s 51st independence anniversary, the Head of State said those who were seeking to govern the country should be ready to listen to the people.
He said if the traditional leaders were not happy with what Mr Chama had said, they should not resort to divisive acts like secession but should seek dialogue with him as the leader of the ruling party.
President Lungu said an leader who was aspiring to be president of Zambia should endeavour to play down tribalism because unity was important for the country’s peace, unity and economic emancipation.
The Head of State was not amused that some traditional leaders in Southern Province met on Monday and proposed secession because of what they saw as Mr Chama’s unpalatable statements and the mistaken belief that the PF was practicing politics of regionalism. “There is no room for Southern Province to secede from the rest of Zambia. If the chiefs in Southern Province are not happy with Mr Chama’s unpalatable statement, they should not be the first to advocate secession. Let us have a caucus and discuss rather than thinking of secession. Secession to go where….that is ridiculous. Some people think that they can become presidents of Zambia by dividing this country. You are not going to dismember the country and be a hero. Heroes are those who united us and those who want to become president and preside over the people should endeavor to play down regionalism,” President Lungu said.
The President said traditional ceremonies were meant to unite Zambians and should therefore not be used to champion divisions in the country.
He said the fact that Mr Chama had not retracted the statement he made which was perceived to be promoting tribalism was not the reason for the country to be divided, stating that Zambians were one and should continue to build from where the forefathers had left.
President Lungu said two wrongs did not make a right and that if Mr Chama had offended the people of Southern Province, dialogue was the only means of settling the perceived differences.
“Without unity, there shall be no advancement and as we celebrate the Heroes and Unity day, we must look back at what our forefathers achieved and build from where they left. One could be in the opposition but we are all Zambians and must be united,” President Lungu said.
The Head of State said he was in Malawi to celebrate with the people of that country their 51st independence anniversary and that Zambia and Malawi had common problems of economic consolidation.