“WE would be naive not to support President Edgar Lungu in the upcoming general elections when we gave him massive support in the last elections,” Muchinga chiefs’ representative chief Kabinga of the Bisa people has said.
And President Lungu said he would not tolerate tribalism because Zambia was a diversity of many tribes.
Speaking shortly after a closed door meeting with President Lungu at State House, chief Kabinga who spoke on behalf of the 25 traditional leaders assured the President of full support from Muchinga Chiefs.
“We have assured the President of full support from us, chiefs from Muchinga. Of course, he had support from us last elections, so we would be naive not to vote for him in this coming election, “he said.
Chief Kabinga also said that the chiefs complained to the President of the urgent need for diplomatic passports.
He explained that traditional leaders went through hustles when travelling as they were not regarded as chiefs and were not treated with respect when travelling.
Chief Kabinga said chiefs also asked the President to build secondary schools as most chiefdoms only had primary schools.
He described the meeting with President Lungu as successful and hoped that their requests would be met although they were aware of the difficulties the country was going through.
And President Lungu said he would not buy tribalism because Zambia of a diversity of many tribes.
The President said chiefdoms with more than one tribe should consider themselves blessed and try by all means to live in peace.
“What I will not buy is tribalism. Some of you are so lucky to have more than one tribe in your chiefdoms and you cannot tell me you will not vote for this man because he is Nsenga or Tumbuka.Those who have chosen to settle in your area are your children, so treat them as such regardless of their tribe,” he said.
President Lungu also questioned why chiefdoms had preferences of leadership and wished to know why the situation was like that.
“I have received reports that you have preferences of leaders to support. You may wish to confirm or deny, but I know you have preferences and I will respect that,” he said.
President Lungu said some chiefs had complained to him that there were some small mushrooming pockets of tribal groupings in their chiefdoms which were causing them a lot of anxiety.
He said it was important that people who settled in other chiefdoms respected the traditional values and beliefs of the chiefdoms in which they had settled.
“I would like to assure the nation that Zambia has a diversity of tribe, but if you choose to go and settle in certain chiefdoms, you should behave according to its norms and respect chiefs there. Let’s respect the traditional values and norms, so we do not bring conflict, and this is double edged sword,” he said.
Among the chiefs who attended the meeting were senior chief Kopa, senior chief Kambombo, senior chief Nkula, chief Chikwa, chief Tembwe, Chief Chifunda, chief Mulio, chief Chibale and chief Luchembe.
Othere were chief Chibesakunda, chief Kafwimbi, chief Mpumba, chief Muyombe, chief Mukungula, chief Mpepo and chief Mwenechifungwe.