TRADITIONAL leaders will not allow politicians to divide the country on account of their political differences and affiliations, Chief Chikanta of Tonga people in Kalomo has said.
He appealed to politicians to resist the temptation of practising politics of hatred, malice, slander and victimization because such acts had the potential to divide the country.
Chief Chikanta said it was the desire of the traditional leadership in the country to see politicians propagate messages of peace and unity and that political harassment of political opponents should be avoided in a democracy.
The traditional leader said this when he visited United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba at his residence in Kabulonga yesterday.
Mr Mwamba was last week arrested twice with the first offence being that of conducting unlawful drilling of youths at his Luanshya Road property where 19 cadres were arrested.
He was again arrested for proposing violence and threatening the life of President Edgar Lungu when he vowed that he was going to go for the Head of State’s neck.
Chief Chikanta said he was visiting Mr Mwamba to show solidarity for his current tribulations and to encourage him that as a politician, he should always expect authorities not to be happy all the time for his political activities.
The traditional leader visited Mr Mwamba a day after other chiefs from Southern Province that included Chiefs Bright Nalubamba, Monze, Hamusonde, Macha and Munkonge visited the UPND vice-president a day after he was released from police custody at Central Police.
“I have come to check on you following your arrest last week and as traditional leaders, we are not going to allow politicians to divide the country on account of your differences. As politicians, you must endeavor to propagate messages of peace and unity. We also wish to condemn political harassment. All political parties be it the opposition or the ruling party should avoid hate speech, malice, slander and political persecution because we are all Zambians and want the best for the country,” Chief Chikanta told Mr Mwamba.
Chief Chikanta said while the year 2016 was a political hot season, it was important for politicians to exercise tolerance and learn and appreciate the need to accommodate each other.
And Mr Mwamba said he was humbled by Chief Chikanta’s visit and pledged that he was going to continue with the struggle for the sake of Zambians the majority of whom he said were in abject poverty.
Mr Mwamba thanked the chiefs for their support and that the UPND would continue respecting the traditional leadership because the institution was critical to the development and governance of the country.
On Wednesday, Chiefs Moonze, Chief Hamusonde, Nalubamba, Macha, and Munkonge visited Mr Mwamba to offer solidarity after he was released from police custody.