PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed that the planned meeting advertised as ‘Chuundu Chaitwa: Meeting of the Tonga People’ should go ahead unhindered and with the full protection of the Police.
He has also asked all those who may have opposing views to the conveners of the advertised meeting not to interfere but to allow for their peaceful assembly.
“This peaceful co-existence built on a strong foundation of unity has thus far distinguished Zambia as a notable democratic enterprise made possible by the abundant spirit of tolerance the moral majority of our people so deeply cherish. This, we cannot sacrifice for political expediency,” the President said.
This is according to a statement issued last evening by Special Assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda.
President Lungu said he was a firm believer in the fundamental freedom of expression, assembly, association and liberal values that have made Zambia an exceptionally tolerant society where people value, rather than fear diversity.
He said he believed that the meeting was the nature of the democracy that Zambians have chosen for themselves.
President Lungu directed all ministers, Patriotic Front senior officials and party functionaries to cease all forms of commentary on the meeting and resist any temptation to mobilise and galvanize on grounds of ethnicity, religion, creed and all other illiberal values that may pose a real danger to Zambia’s social cohesion.
He said on his part, he would on the 21st of July 2015, meet all their Royal Highnesses from Southern Province to dialogue over concerns arising from remarks attributed to Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General Mr. Davies Chama last month.
President Lungu called for this special meeting to bring to an end the divisive sentiments some sections of society were fomenting to sow seeds of discord in the nation.
“Following the meeting of 21st July 2015, this matter shall be brought to its desired conclusion in the spirit of upholding the nation’s cherished creed of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’,” he said.