27th July 2020
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*We have no legal, moral desire or other intentions to remove any traditional leader*
The United Party for National Development (UPND), outside or inside government, has no intention nor capacity to interfere in the selection, continued reign nor removal of any traditional leadership in this country.
We simply have no legal, moral desire or other basis to carry out such a mission. In as far as we are concerned, this is unattainable and well outside our cherished values, virtues and aspirations.
Our duty is to work with all tradtional leaders (headmen, chiefs, paramount chiefs and others in the traditional hierarchy of our nation), and other stakeholders in fostering economic and social development to benefit all our citizens in the whole country regardless of ethnic, religious, political, and other affiliations or artificial boundaries.
For the record, I as Hakainde Hichilema, have never said or done anything against the Chitimukulu or the Bemba Royal Establishment.
As a matter of fact, when the Patriotic Front (PF) was harassing the Chitimukulu with Mr. Edgar Lungu as Home Affairs Minister deployed hundreds of police officers to prevent his ascension to the throne, I stood by the Chitimukulu and rendered support to him. History will absolve us on this matter.
As a country, we would rather use our time and focus discussion on more serious and pressing issues affecting our citizens such as finding solutions to the economic meltdown and the Covid 19 pandemic, as these do not spare anyone from whatever background or political affiliation.
We are aware of the desperation by some of our opponents who have no messages for the masses, other than driving hatred against fellow citizens. Zambians find these misplaced efforts to drive a wedge between citizens, tragic, retrogressive and a danger to national unity.
Within the context of our democratic dispensation, it is our duty to jealously guard the peace we have enjoyed as a country since independence, and focus on seeking unity than disunity, love than hate and honesty than unnecessary innuendos. There’s so much work to be done and we in the UPND are preoccupied with ways and means of how citizens can put food on their tables and send their children to school.
We believe that the above response should put to rest this unnecessary digression from critical national issues.