KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has castigated individuals inciting the people of Southern Province to secede from Zambia because of remarks allegedly attributed to Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davies Chama.
President Lungu said some people in Southern Province are advocating secession from Zambia because of an unpalatable statement allegedly made by Mr Chama.
Speaking on arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport from Malawi yesterday, President Lungu said it is ridiculous and unacceptable to talk of secession because the people of Southern Province can sit down and dialogue with Mr Chama, the PF, and him (President Lungu) as President to find out what he is thinking.
â€œFifty-one years down the line we are saying letâ€™s build on what our forefathers left. Unity, development and economic emancipation of our people so you can only succeed to bring us together. If I offend you by calling you a name, you canâ€™t say that you want to secede because I called you a name,â€ President Lungu said.
President Lungu wondered why some people of Southern Province held a meeting at a traditional ceremony and called for secession because Mr Chama has not retracted his statement.
â€œTraditional ceremonies are about uniting people. Lwiindi ceremony is about uniting, Ncwala ceremony is about uniting, the Umutomboko ceremony is about uniting people. All the traditional ceremonies are about uniting people.
â€œSo those who met yesterday [Monday] and said that they will secede from Zambia, where will they secede to? There is no room for secession.
â€œIf the chiefs are aggrieved by Mr Chamaâ€™s remarks, let them see me so that we can discuss,â€ President Lungu said.
He warned that without unity, there will be no advancement of national development in any way.
â€œAs we celebrate Heroes Day, we should know that you cannot be heroes when there is no unity.
â€œThe way we are doing politics in Zambia suggests that we are on the verge of disintegration unless we look to the past to see how people forged ahead as one,â€ he said.
President Lungu said the `One Zambia One Nationâ€™ motto means that one could be in the opposition or ruling party but look into the future as one.
He said, however, that some people think that they can assume office by dividing the nation.
President Lungu said Zambians will reject those who want to be Presidents at all cost and they will remain as â€œzeros instead of heroesâ€.
â€œWe know that it is clear that some people really want power by all means. It is only the united Zambia, which can put one in State House,â€ he said.
President Lungu said a divided Zambia will not succeed and that leaders should endeavor to play down things like tribalism even if they want to be republican President.
He also said that people who want to rule and preside over others should be prepared to listen to the majority of the people.
KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka