HONE SIAME and HENRY SINYANGWE, Mungwi
PRESIDENT Lungu says Zambia’s unparalleled history of longstanding peace places her under a spotlight as the world waits to see how far it can
sustain the unbroken record.
In view of this, the President has called on Zambians to nurture the spirit of co-existence to foster unity and peace in the country and that attempts to destabilise the country will not be tolerated.
The head of State also urged traditional leaders not to relent in promoting peace in their respective communities as it is essential to the successful celebration of any event and achieving meaningful development.
President Lungu was speaking during the Ukusefya pa Ng’wena traditional ceremony of the Bemba people in Ng’wena Village in Mungwi district in Northern Province.
“As head of State, I will continue to uphold the Constitution by protecting the lives of people and their property. Therefore, wanton behaviour to destabilise the peace which our nation is known for will not be tolerated,” President Lungu said.
He said Government remains committed to consolidating the country’s economic gains through continued implementation of sound policies and upholding fiscal discipline for the benefit of citizens.
“Our economy has posted positive developments in recent months and this needs to be commended by all patriotic Zambians.
“The results are there for all to see. The Kwacha has exhibited resilience against major global currencies with a significant drop in the inflation rate. Moreover, fuel pump prices have been reduced,” he said.
He also reiterated Government’s commitment to improving the welfare of traditional leaders and assured them of continued construction of chiefs’ palaces across the country.
Mr Lungu said the Patriotic Front (PF) administration also continues to support traditional ceremonies.
“Traditional ceremonies are an integral part of Zambian culture that is why my Government acknowledges the vital role they play in unifying people.
“Therefore, the Patriotic Front government will continue to support traditional ceremonies across the country,” President Lungu said.
He urged traditional leaders country-wide to lead efforts aimed at protecting children from violence such as child and forced marriage and its associated risks.
President Lungu commended the Bemba Royal Establishment for the mature manner it handles its succession-related issues and urged politicians to emulate the Bembas.
“A case in point is the recent ascension of senior Chief Mwamba, who was successfully installed to the throne.
“I salute you, your royal highness and indeed the Bemba people for such smooth transitions, and such orderliness, is what our country needs,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu also thanked the people of Muchinga and Northern provinces for giving the PF resounding victory in the August 11 general elections.
And Paramount Chief Chitimukulu said the Bemba Royal Establishment recognises President Lungu as a legitimately elected head of State and urged all stakeholders to respect the will of the Zambian people.
In a speech read for him by a royal advisor, Mr Kasonde Kasutu, earlier, the traditional leader said the Bemba Royal Establishment will closely work with Government to accelerate development and realise its economic diversification objectives.
He also called for mechanisation of the agriculture sector and investment in the tourism sector to spur wealth and job creation.
And Chief Nkula lauded President Lungu, traditional leaders and all the people for making the ceremony colourful through their attendance.
Meanwhile, there was jubilation as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu made a grand entry into the main arena to mark the beginning of the Ukusefya Pa Ng’wena traditional ceremony, which was attended by people from all, walks of life.
The Bemba use the event to celebrate their 17th century migration from Kola in the now Democratic of Congo (DRC) to Ng’wena village in present day Malole constituency in Mungwi district.
And earlier, President Lungu urged the House of Chiefs to consider streamlining the calendar for traditional ceremonies to make it easy for him to honour invitations and prevent the clash of programmes.
President Lungu says holding traditional ceremonies at the same time by different tribes is making it difficult for him to honour some of the traditional ceremonies.
He said this trend is creating an unfavourable perception that some traditional ceremonies and tribes are more favoured by Government than others.
President Lungu was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Paramount Chief Chitimukulu in Mungwi district in Northern Province before gracing the Ukusefya pa Ng’wena traditional ceremony.
He said Government attaches great significance to all traditional ceremonies and will always be on hand to attend.
“No traditional ceremony is small,” Mr Lungu said.
And Paramount Chief Chitimukulu acknowledged President Lungu’s concern and pledged to table the matter before the House of Chiefs.
President Lungu has also been invited to attend the Kulamba traditional ceremony in Eastern Province and Likumbi Lyamize traditional ceremony in North-Western Province next week.