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Easterners cannot eat regionalism, says Tembo

FORMER PF Eastern Province chairperson Mike Tembo says the people in the province cannot eat regionalism.

Reacting to Eastern Province PF information and publicity secretary William Phiri’s sentiments that political gurus like him, Col Panji Kaunda, George Kanyamula Zulu, Colonel Bizwayo Nkunika and Lucas Phiri should not mislead easterners but should rally behind President Edgar Lungu because he means well for the people of Zambia, Tembo, who is now UPND provincial vice-chairperson, said what Phiri said cannot work out.

“It’s too late because the damage to the governance system, the damage to the economy is too extensive. We cannot just sit down and watch our country bleed to death like that through these illicit activities, no,” he said.

Tembo said he was there for Zambians.

“You know some of us would have even gone out of politics but we cannot leave when the situation is bad. You leave when the situation is good otherwise things are not going in the right direction in this country. Even a child can see that things are bad. The levels of corruption are on industrial scale now. Nothing is happening anywhere in Zambia, everything has gone down,” he said.

Tembo aid there was need to bring the county to its normal self.

“Nothing is working out in this country, so we can say for the sake of our region or for the sake of our son, we do this and that, it doesn’t work out like that. That we cannot so we’ll work with people who are progressive. We want to get this economy fixed. There is no economy worthy writing home about. Look at the dollar/kwacha relationship! It’s so bad,” he said.

Tembo said people should not think that all the problems the country was facing were caused by coronavirus.

“The kwacha had been on a down ward trend for quite some time. So we want somebody who can help us resuscitate the economy of this country. Look at the governance issues, the private media is being harassed left right and centre. We hope you wont be closed also. We are not going to eat that regional thing, no. We want someone who would run this country in the manner the Kaundas ran this country. There was no tribalism, there was unity in this country, now we are talking regions, we are talking what,” he lamented.

Tembo said he wanted a government that would do things for the common good.

“You know some of us were brought up in an old school where respect for all, good governance were the order of the day,” he said.

Former Zambia’s High Commissioner to Australia George Zulu and former provincial chairperson Lucas Phiri said they would comment later.

Col Panji Kaunda said he would as well comment on the matter in due course.

Phiri in a statement feared that losing power would be regrettably the most painful thing for easterners as they would have failed their son – President Lungu.

He urged the political gurus to stop dividing the people but to unite behind President Lungu whom he said means well for the province.

“As long as these gurus are divided, the young upcoming politicians will continue to lose political direction. These old but brains of wisdom should come on board and help ECL to win the 2021 elections. Being silent or playing double standards will not help the region gain political recognition. Losing power will be regrettably the most painful thing for easterners because we would have failed our own son. It will be us to blame,” he stated.

Phiri stated that what was happening in the province was a shame considering the fact that President Lungu hails from the region.

“What is obtaining on the ground now in Eastern Province is a shame, especially that President Edgar Lungu hails from the same region but most political gurus, if not all, have chosen to betray him with impunity. Sad to point to the likes of Col Panji Kaunda, George Kanyamula Zulu, Col Bizwayo Nkunika, Johabie Mtonga,
Mike Tembo, Lukas Phiri and the list is endless. These are the men who should be driving the agenda of Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the Patriotic Front in the province. We expect them to be engaging traditional leaders in the region to help the PF win power and subsequently help to unite the party,” he stated.

“I therefore urge all well meaning political gurus to stop fighting the PF but join hands with Edgar Chagwa Lungu and make the campaigns easier for the party.”

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