TRADITIONAL leaders in Southern Province have rubbished reports that the chiefs in Southern Province have not collectively resolved to support President Edgar Lungu’s leadership stating that such reports were being carried by people who did not attend the meeting between the Head of State and the chiefs in Livingstone.
Chiefs Macha of Choma and Chikanta of Kalomo say there were no divisions among the traditional leaders in Southern Province over their support for President Lungu and that the meeting they had with the Head of State was a success.
Chief Macha said the problem was that the media houses reporting that the meeting between President Lungu and the traditional leaders was held in an acrimonious atmosphere, did not attend the meeting and were only calling individual chiefs on phone for interviews.
Chief Macha said the report in the Post Newspaper stating that it was not true that the chiefs had agreed to support President Lungu should be ignored because according to him, the traditional leaders had presented a position paper to the Head of State.
“I do not know about what is in the Post Newspaper. The Problem is that you people are writing about things when you did not attend the meeting. Let me tell you that forget about the report in the Post Newspaper and write what we discussed because you were there in the meeting. You should also take time to come and see me instead of calling me on the phone,” Chief Macha said
And Chief Chikanta said President Lungu had exhibited exemplary leadership by humbly meeting traditional leaders from Southern Province and that it was politically incorrect to insinuate that the chiefs in the region were divided over their collective resolve to support the Head of State.
Chief Chikanta said it was not correct that there was a deadlock between the traditional leaders and President Lungu because the chiefs had presented all their concerns to the Head of State which he said were warmly received.
Chief Chikanta said the problem with newspaper reports were that the people who were reporting that the chiefs were divided over their collective resolution to support President Lungu in governing the country peacefully and in unity did not attend the meeting between the Head of State and the traditional leaders.
The traditional leader said there was no question of the chiefs differing with the President on their demands because on the eve of the meeting, the traditional leaders met and discussed the issues they wanted to present to the Head of State.
He said the chiefs had prepared the issues they wanted to discuss with President Lungu and the matters were verbally discussed during the meeting which he said was successful.
Chief Chikanta said the traditional leaders praised President Lungu publicly and before the media because of the manner he conducted himself during the meeting adding that the traditional leaders found in the Head of State a listening and humble leader who had respect for the people he was governing.
“President Lungu has showed exemplary leadership by accepting our request to come and meet the chiefs in Southern Province. He is a lawyer and a great listener and we discussed all our concerns with him. On the eve of the meeting, we met as chiefs and tabulated the issues we wanted to discuss and we presented them to the President. We amplified them during the meeting and President Lungu also explained his side. It is not true that we are divided over the collective resolution to support him. For the first time, we agree that we have a President who is eager to listen to the people when called upon and those are the qualities of good leadership,” chief Chikanta said.
Chief Chikanta said President Lungu would have been heavily misunderstood he had stopped the Chuundu Chaitwa or spurned the meeting with the traditional leaders from Southern Province.
He said the traditional leaders praised President Lungu because he had showed that he was a true democrat who believed and respected the fundamental rights of citizens.