PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu on Tuesday told headmen that unlike late Michael Sata, he fails to command people to work.
Addressing Chipata village headmen at Anoya Zulu Boys Secondary School, President Lungu said people differ in the manner they work.
He was responding to headman Dingeni’s plea for him to emulate president Sata by abruptly visiting places like hospitals to wake up people who do not work.
The Head of State responded: “Tisiyana kasebenzedwe; ba Sata benze ba Sata, Lungu nayeve ni Lungu, palikusiyana. Baja ba mudala angakukalipile, kukunena nena, mwaseka seka mwasilizana nakuyenda mwamvana, anali namphatso nimphatso yawo ija. Na ine nimphatso yanga siniyiziba koma kuuza banthu kuti khamani khamani chinikanga so munikhululukire koma naineso nimalumuma (We differ the way we work, Mr Sata was Mr Sata, Lungu is also Lungu, there is a difference. That man could shout at you, then you laugh, agree and then end your issue and go. He had a gift; that was his gift. Even me, I have a gift but I don’t know it, but to command people, I fail to do that; you should forgive me but I also bite),” he said.
President Lungu said president Sata had his own ways of doing things.
“He was his own person and I am my own person, I have my own ways of doing things. And I cannot try to pretend I am Mr Sata but I learnt a few things from him. Some of them I am doing them very well. I also don’t expect laziness to abound,” he said. “I know how to deal with such people. I also don’t expect indiscipline because I have got power to discipline. So don’t worry, there are things which I can do which will bring results just like what Mr Sata would be happy with.”
And President Lungu warned social media abusers to watch out as the country heads to elections.
He said there were lies, insults and a lot of things happening on social media.
“There are a lot of things that happen on social media; there are insults, there are lies but we cannot say we do like that one, no. But we’re also going to find a way of handling social media, especially this time when we are going to elections. We will watch you ba social media very closely. In short, I am saying social media has come to stay, we accept it. These are changing times but we will not allow social media to destroy the fabric of our morals or also destroy the law and order in this country,” he said. “If need be we are going to act decisively against abusers of social media especially as we go towards elections, don’t worry.”
Meanwhile, President Lungu said Zambia would pick good lessons from elections that were recently held in Tanzania, Malawi and the USA.
He said Zambia would pick good lessons.
He was speaking when he met the clergy in Chipata.
“We had elections that recently took place in Tanzania, we have learnt some lessons. There are good lessons we will pick. There were elections in Malawi and good lessons we’ll pick. We have learnt lessons in USA and good lessons we’ll pick, so that we can do better,” he said.
President Lungu said he would work with Chipata Central member of parliament Moses Mawere and Luangeni’s Charles Zulu on the aspect of giving headmen bicycles.
He said as soon as the parliamentarians get in touch with him, the bicycles would begin rolling out.
President Lungu said he knew that some people would say buying bicycles for headmen amounts to corruption but argued that they were also working and they need transport.
On the inclusion of headmen on social cash transfer, President Lungu said he would talk to community development minister on whether village headmen could be eligible to participate on social cash transfer.
“If they can, we will accommodate them. If they can’t, we will devise or organise. I know that village headmen receive visitors and they are involved in a number of things,” he said.
On inclusion of headmen in the Farmer Input Support Programme, President Lungu said they would be included in the 2021/2022 farming season.
He said it was too late to include them in the 2020/2021 farming season.
Earlier, headman Dingeni Mgemezulu Fikizolo Jere, who spoke on behalf of the headmen, appealed to the Head State to ensure they were put on payroll, the social cash transfer and empower them with transport.
Dingeni complained that some elected leaders go for good after being elected.
Meanwhile, President Lungu urged the Church to counsel politicians.
He assured the clergy that the government would look into the issue of an airport that they requested.
President Lungu urged the clergy to continue advocating development, which he said had no finishing line.
He also said land had been found for the construction of a university in Katete district.
Earlier, Seventh Day Adventist Church East Zambia field president Moses Banda, who represented the clergy, thanked President Lungu and the government for various developmental projects that were taking place.
Rev Banda appealed to government to work on the Lundazi-Chama Road and other feeder roads in the Province.
He appealed to the Electoral Commission of Zambia to beef up manpower in the ongoing voter other registration exercise.
Rev Banda said the clergy would continue praying for President Lungu.
President Lungu is in Eastern Province until Sunday.