[By Chambwa Moonga in Mpulungu]
CHIEF Chitimbwa says the aftermath of this August general elections should be admirable to countries around Zambia.
Chitimbwa, of the Lungu people of Mpulungu district in Northern Province, stresses that Zambians should vote without anyone being hacked or beaten.
The chief said Zambia was a property for all her people.
“Let people vote this year without anyone being hacked or beaten. Ifyo tafikwete ubupilibulo kuli ifwe (that’s pointless for us). Bonse fye cimo cine (we are the same people, after all)!” Chitimbwa said when DP president Harry Kalaba paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Mpulungu district on Monday afternoon. “So, if one political leader goes to an area, they should be given a chance to say what they have to say and we should listen. This is a country for every one of us! We should have peace before, during and after the elections this year. We should actually do that which will make countries around us to emulate and say ‘Zambians are united.’”
He also told Kalaba that; “you have not committed an offence by coming to Chitimbwa chiefdom.”
“Mu lupapulo mwaliba multiparty (multipartism is enshrined in the Constitution), buteko ubwabika ukuti kube ama party ayengi (it’s the government that consented to multipartism),” he noted. “So, since there are many political parties, it doesn’t mean that people will only be supporting the ruling party. No! Na opposition bene bana besu (even those in the opposition political parties are our children) and they will be going to meet chiefs.”
Chitimbwa added that leadership was anchored on interactions with people.
“For me to know different issues, it’s through you people who come here to give me different ideas. But if I close this palace to visitations, even my traditional leadership will become poor,” Chitimbwa said.
Asked to comment on an off Mbala–Mpulungu rutted road that leads to his palace, Chitimbwa explained that if it could be tarred, tourism in the area could be enhanced.
The road goes all the way to Kasaba Bay and to Lake Tanganyika, assured tourism destinations in Northern Province.
“So, if communication is improved [through erection of communication towers], there is a proper tarred road and power connectivity, that can bring a lot of benefits here. That’s why you have seen electricity poles being erected,” said Chitimbwa. “We’ll continue to lobby the government, bit by bit, for all these other things and development will come.”
For Kalaba, he praised the chief for exemplary leadership: “by welcoming us here.”
“It shows you are a parent to everyone – those in the opposition and in the ruling party. I know that in your chiefdom there are Catholics, SDA, Pentecostals and you can’t decree that let everyone be a Catholic believer or Pentecostal,” said Kalaba.
“It’s the same with us who are into politics…I truly appreciate that you have showed us quality leadership. This is the kind of leadership that we are lacking at national level.”