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Zambians must celebrate their diversity – Chanda

KANCHIBIYA PF member of parliament Sunday Chanda says he agrees with senior chief Mukuni’s view that a nation without a well-defined heritage cannot be united or live in peace.

In a statement, Chanda said Mukuni’s counsel is what recently motivated him to move the heritage and cultural diversity motion on the floor of the House.

Chanda’s motion did not pass.

Recently, Mukuni of the Leya people of Kazungula, Livingstone and Zimba districts said without a well-defined cultural and political heritage, Zambia cannot be united.

In an interview after attending the Samu Lya Moomba ceremony in Bweengwa graced by President Hakainde Hichilema, traditional leaders and members of parliament, Mukuni said the meeting held at Choongo Secondary School was unifying.

“We held a meeting with the Head of State and he has urged the House of Chiefs to tabulate all traditional leaders’ challenges so that he can attend to them. This is what it should be, not what we saw in the last regime where a few chiefs were viewed as enemies of the State,” Mukuni said. “I felt so free to be in that meeting with President Hichilema. I don’t want to describe what I would have felt like if it was that other one [Edgar Lungu] who ruled us before August 12.”

On cultural heritage, Mukuni said Zambia is endowed with rich stories that can help prop-up the tourism sector.

“The President has been committed to having the political heritage of this country written down correctly and this we must do. I challenge journalists to use the Head of State’s zeal to start writing a lot of feature stories on our political history, even writing books,” said Mukuni. “The generation we have don’t understand much of what happened before 1964. They don’t even know who was Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula or Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe. A nation without a well-defined heritage cannot be united or live in peace. Ethnicity or tribalism will always take root without a well-defined or written down cultural heritage or political history.”

In his reaction, Chanda called on Mukuni and all elderly statesmen and women, as well as the Church to help bring matters of heritage and cultural to the fore.

He maintained that heritage and culture is about whom the country is as a people and its uniqueness as Zambians.

“The day we do not allow for social cross pollination and the collective promotion and entrenchment of heritage and culture, then we are lost as a nation. Promotion of heritage and cultural diversity as I had proposed is also good for the players in the tourism sector. I hope that the Ministry of Tourism and Arts can take the motion as it was presented on the floor of the House and improve on it,” he said. “I also agree with Chief Mukuni when he observes that ethnicity or tribalism will always take root without a well-defined or written down cultural heritage or political history. Let me add that beyond putting our cultural heritage or political history on paper, let us be seen to promote and champion it. There is no single player in the tourism sector who will be left out once we give deserved attention to heritage and culture.”

Chanda urged the country to embrace new ways of doing things, mindful that Zambians are not different.

“We are only diverse and this is something we must celebrate,” said Chanda.

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