INVITE President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga to teach you how to prevent Zambians from killing each other by having dialogue with Hakainde Hichilema, senior chief Bright Nalubamba has advised President Edgar Lungu.
And chief Nalubamba of the Ila people of Namwala says President Lungu’s aides are ill advising him, hence affecting his governance style.
Meanwhile, Nalubamba has invited President Lungu and all the opposition leaders to what he calls the ‘Mbeza Convention’ to look at four thematic areas that will help foster peace and development in rural areas without depending on handouts.
Kenyan President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga have agreed to reconcile and soothe tensions after last year’s bitterly contested presidential election and re-election.
President Kenyatta and Odinga, leader of the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA), spoke on Kenyan national television on Friday after their first public meeting since the October election, with the latter saying it was time for the two rivals to resolve their differences.
In an interview, Nalubamba said there was need for President Lungu and Hichilema to frequently meet so as to share ideas that would enhance peace and unity.
“Vernon Mwaanga says he praised the Kenyan leaders, President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, for embracing the spirit of dialogue and putting the interests of their country and people first. He added that he expressed hope that President Lungu and HH would take a leaf from those wise and mature Kenyan politicians and do the same. This is an excellent idea and should be taken seriously if we want to bring peace and sustainable development,” Nalubamba said.
“But I would like to add that it is better for President Edgar Lungu to invite the Kenyan President Kenyatta and Odinga to come to Zambia so as to be taught on the need for dialogue…. President Lungu needs to take advantage of President Kenyatta and Odinga’s strategy and learn on how to prevent Zambians from killing each other.”
He said if the two leaders continued avoiding meeting, Zambia was likely to degenerate into chaos.
“I don’t see anything wrong for President Lungu and HH meeting; I don’t see anything wrong for HH or even other opposition party leaders from going to State House or meeting President Lungu somewhere. There is need for them to meet from time to time so as to promote good governance,” Nalubamba said.
“I don’t know how it is working in Kenya, but I think it is because President Kenyatta and Odinga hail from parents who fought for freedom for that country and Africa. I and other veteran politicians were part of historical political dialogue in Zambia. We used to meet with [Harry Mwaanga] Nkumbula and Dr Kaunda.”
The chief added that politics were not about engineering violence but were meant to foster checks and balances with the aim of development.
He said the Kenyan leaders’ style was what Zambia and Africa needs.
Nalubamba further noted that President Lungu’s advisors were not helping him to foster peace and unity because they were telling the Head of State lies.
He said President Lungu was misinformed of the opposition’s intentions to meet him.
“After seeing what VJ [Mwaanga] said, it is a fact that the President’s advisors were misleading him into making comments over things that are not there. This also can lead in to chaos…if his advisors are wrong, the Head of State’s governance gets affected,” Nalubamba said.
He advised President Lungu not to depend on his aides’ advice most of the time.
“One has to look at the Stag Africa saga and also President Lungu’s comments over VJ,” Nalubamba said.
He said with the current mistrust between President Lungu and Hichilema, he was not sure whether the Head of State would attend his inaugural Mbeza Convention.
Nalubamba said the convention would have village thinktanks that would help villagers at household, village, health and educational levels to develop programmes and projects on self-help basis.
“We are not a poor country, but are poor by design. We have villagers that are dormant, villagers who are beggars, so the Mbeza Convention shall endeavour to make villagers not to be beggars all the time,” said chief Nalubamba.