I DON’T take it to heart the fact that some people don’t accept me, says President Edgar Lungu. During a brief meeting with chief Mukobela of Namwala, Simwatachela of Kalomo, Nyawa and acting chieftainess Sekute of Kazungula at David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spar yesterday, President Lungu urged traditional leaders to work with him.
“Thank you for finding time to welcome me and that is the way it should be because I am your child. I am your son and as much you may not like me, I am the President, so really we have to work together and recognise authority. So those who don’t like me, who don’t want to work with me, nchiindi chabo (it’s their fault). What can I do? What can I say? But we have a duty to provide services to the people of this Republic. North, South, East, West, wherever there are people, that is our duty,” President Lungu said. “So I don’t take to heart the fact that some people don’t accept me, some traditional leaders don’t want to work with me. But I have a duty to reach out to the people. If I can reach out to the people through the chiefs, well and good, but if some chiefs still ignore me, I will still find a way of getting to the people because the people are the ultimate, that is why we are here.”
He urged the four chiefs to find time to discuss with Southern Province minister Edify Hamukale some issues they had wanted to talk with him but could not due to time limit. President Lungu said even some chiefs were not wanted by their own subjects.
“Even yourselves, your royal highnesses, not everyone in your village accepts that you must be there [laughs], but you still have to provide a service to them. You still attend to their needs, that is what it is, so I am not alone in terms of being liked or not liked…but you are there and you have to put these things behind you. That is what I have learnt to do. Don’t worry, I am your son, I am here to do what the people of Zambia want me to do and that is to provide leadership,” he said.
President Lungu said in as much as some traditional leaders may not like him, he was their President. And speaking on behalf of the other traditional leaders, Sekute said the meeting with the Head of State was their initiative to show that in Southern Province, it was not every chief who was against him.
“We are here to support you. We are here to support the government of the day and we want to work with you. We don’t want to be left behind. We appreciate the works that you are doing for this country. We have a lot in our chest but because of time we want to ask that you can give us time to come and visit you at State House,” said acting chieftainess Sekute.