MILES Sampa has chosen to acknowledge, respect and support the re-election of President Edgar Lungu despite having fully campaigned for the UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba during the August 11, 2016, general elections.
And Mr Sampa, leader of the United Democratic Forum (UDF), charged that as far as he was concerned an alliance signed between his party and Mr Hichilema expired on August 11, 2016.
He told a press briefing at his residence in Kabulonga yesterday that President Lungu was chosen by God and that there could only be one President at a time.
“As the Bible teaches us, leaders are chosen by God and there is a time for everything. Consequently, I choose to acknowledge, respect and support the re-election of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu,” Mr Sampa said.
He said this was now time for healing the nation through reconciliation and forgiveness so that President Lungu could effectively serve Zambians.
Mr Sampa said it was clear that the nation needed peace and unity regardless of diverse political views.
He said he would play his role as a unifying factor and travel across the country to preach unity and peace.
“There can only be one President at a time and it is incumbent upon all of us to honour and respect the Presidency.
“I, therefore, congratulate and wish President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the Vice President Inonge Wina a successful five-year term,” he said.
Mr Sampa said he had noted with sadness the acrimonious divisions and anxiety that had gripped the nation following the just ended presidential and general elections.
He said leaders needed to promote unity in diversity.
“The election has now passed and campaigns are over. The leader has emerged and for development, peace and unity we need to support that leader (Lungu).
‘‘As in any competition, for instance, in the game of football, there can only be one winner at the end of 90 minutes when the referee blows the final whistle,” Mr Sampa said.
He said in the past 15 years, he had participated actively in all the general elections.
“I have been part of a team that has lost some and won others. At all times and regardless of any perceived disputes, I have learnt to move on once the final whistle has been blown in view of the bigger picture and for the sake of the over 15 million Zambians,” he said. Mr Sampa said as leaders, it was paramount that they considered the welfare of all Zambians they wished to serve before anything else.
“I may have had my views pre-election day, but what matters in this post-election era is peace and unity,” he said.