By Wallen Simwaka in New York
GOVERNMENT is not going to
allow the 1964 Barotseland Agreement dismember Zambia and the evil of tribalism and
ethnicity are a product of
politicians in a contest of taking up the governance of the country, President Lungu has charged.
And President Lungu said he was willing to call for a referendum over the 1964 Barotseland Agreement so that the people of Western Province could decide on what he said was a thorny issue demanding maximum maturity in its handling.
President Lungu warned that Zambia’s future generation risked being lost if the country was going to be dismembered on regional grounds and that the Barotseland Agreement was a historic issue which should be tackled with honesty and sincerity.
Meanwhile, Zambians in the diaspora have appealed to President Lungu to show his ideas of how best he was going to implement his vision of reducing poverty among Zambians in the next five years of the Patriotic Front (PF) in government.
President Lungu said that tribal and regional politics were purely a product of politicians and that it was their responsibility to be accountable to the practice of politics in the country.
The President said Zambians were the kind of people who had shown that the tribal politics that had manifested in the last general elections would be phased out because politicians whose political life depended on regionalism would not be able to last.
President Lungu said tribalism was a product of politicians and it was, therefore, important to hold them accountable of their tribal actions.
Speaking at a dinner hosted in his honour by Zambians resident in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut…, President Lungu stated that any political party that was going to sponsor a presidential candidate was destined to fail and crumble because tribalism and ethnicity were evils that had since beaten the dust.
The President said the outcome of the August 11 general elections was a declaration that those who were seeking to take up the governance of the country on the basis of tribe would never be allowed to occupy the office of presidency in Zambia.
“The 1964 Barotseland Agreement is a thorny issue and we must be honest in dealing with the delicate matter. It was signed by first republican president Kenneth Kaunda and King Lewanika. The Litunga and myself have inherited the problem. I am willing to have a referendum over the Barotseland issue so that the people of Western Province can decide. If we are going to decide to dismember Zambia, where will the future generation and the children go?” President Lungu asked.
President Lungu stated that tribalism was a creature of people whose ambitions in the country was to cause political consternation.
The Head of State advised that those who were aspiring to take up the leadership of the country should at all times avoid propagating tribal politics because Zambians had democratically matured and were frowning upon political leaders whose agenda was to get into the presidency using regionalism.
“When we meet in social places, in church and other places, there is no talk of tribalism. But why should it be that when we are on a political platform, there should be tribalism? I am happy that Zambians have shown that tribalism will go away because no political leader whose modus operandi of taking over the leadership of the country is regionalism will ever occupy the office of the presidency in the country,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu revealed that he has had problems in appointing ministers in Southern, Western and North-Western Provinces because the governing Patriotic Front (PF) did not have a single MP in the three regions.
He said he had to look hard for credible people to be appointed ministers in the region but cautioned that opposition political parties that depended on tribalism to take over the governance of the country would never succeed in Zambia.