FOURTH Republican president Rupiah Banda has advised Zambians not to discriminate each other based on tribe.
Speaking to people in Zomba village in chieftainess Nyanje’s area on Friday during burial of a 96-year-old Lebetina Zulu Mwenda, Banda said those that practice tribalism would fail Zambia.
“Nukumvwani mu Zambia kuti musankhana mitundu, cikukangeni calo ngati musankhana mitundu. Kuliye kuti uyu ni mu Bemba, Mngoni, Chewa, mu Tonga, Lozi; tonse ndise amozi (I hear that here in Zambian you are segregating each other based on tribe. You will fail the country if you discriminate each other. There is nothing like this one is a Bemba, Ngoni, Chewa, Tonga, Lozi; we are all one),” he said
Banda said it hurts him to see and hear Zambians segregate each other based on tribe yet they live together.
“Cunibaba neo kuona kuti banthu osankhana mitundu, cunibaba ndipo nukonda lini (it hurts me to see people segregate each other based on tribe and I don’t like it for real, it hurts me),” Banda said.
He praised late Lebetina Zulu Mwenda’s son Ephraim for being a cheerful and good person who kept his mother well and further urged women to ensure they keep their children well.
“All of us who are here let’s copy from Mr Mwenda and his wife; they are good people as I have been visiting them several times and I was glad to see what measures he had put in place for his mother. Let’s all love and take care of our parents and let’s learn to be cheerful because God gives those who give,” Banda advised.
He caused laughter when he said he was just at the farm cultivating tomatoes and cabbage when president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa called him to be his vice-president.
Banda told people that at the time he did not believe that he could make a good leader.
“When he called me, I was afraid to say sure from planting tomatoes to be vice-president, reading files! I was afraid ‘how will I manage?’ Koma monse mulipano mucitira umboni kuti nekwanisha kulamulira bwino (but you are all witnesses that I even managed to rule very well as a president),” said Banda amid laughter and applause from the people who forgot that it was a funeral.
Banda added that for him to succeed as a president it was because people like Mwenda encouraged him and he was regarded a good leader.
He also challenged people to avoid selfishness as it does not bring prosperity but that God blesses the cheerful.
“Cigolo yai, osazikonda weo weka, ngati mulungu ekudalisa gabanako na ayako (don’t be selfish. If God blesses you, share with others) as doing so God will bless you more,” advised Banda.
Meanwhile, chieftainess Nyanje challenged married women to ensure they love and take care of their spouses’ relatives.
“Let’s learn to take care of our husbands’ relatives because some women are very bad and bad hearted that they don’t take care of the parents who gave birth to what they love,” she explained.
She also warned her subjects against selling maize for beer.
“Please safeguard your maize, don’t sell as I am told some people are selling their maize and use monies for beer while your children are languishing in poverty. Let’s not endanger our families, let’s keep some crops for our home consumption,” said Nyanje.
Speaking for the family, Alfred Chioza, who once served as a member of parliament in Kapoche Constituency during the reign of Frederick Chiluba thanked people for mourning with the family.
He also thanked Mwenda for making efforts to take his mother’s remains back home for burial.
Nyanje Reformed Church in Zambia Reverend Gabriel Kachikoti told people that relationship should be priority rather than money.
He said people could forsake each other but God would not forsake anyone who trusts in Him.
Chief Nzamane, Eastern Province MMD chairperson Jacob Mwanza, former first lady Vera Chiluba, among others attended the burial.