SENIOR chief Nalubamba of the Ila people of Namwala says politicians come and go but traditional leaders outlive all political regimes a country may have. And Nalubamba has expressed sadness with what he called a steady decline in peace, unity and increasing media reports of corruption in Zambia.
In a statement to The Mast, Nalubamba, urged all other traditional leaders across the country to cherish peace and unity.
“Political leaders come and go but us traditional leaders generally outlive political regimes. Therefore, I call upon fellow traditional leaders across the country to espouse the values of national unity, peace and justice. Further, as custodians of traditional customs and culture, we have an obligation to constantly hold political leaders accountable to the Zambia people. Lastly, fellow citizens of this great country; what will you do as an individual, family, community and political party to ensure that security, prosperity, equality, justice, fairness, peace and unity continue to prevail in Zambia? What will be our collective gift to posterity?” Nalubamba wondered.
He complained that the laxity among leaders was not ideal for fighting corruption.
“I have noted with great concern the gradual deterioration of peace and unity in our great country, and the increasing media reports of corruption especially within the rank and file of those entrusted with the management of the country’s resources. It does not help that leaders are not showing the same fervor and commitment to fight the scourge of corruption as was shown by the late Republican president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa,” Nalubamba stated.
He called upon all Zambians to protect the peace and integrity of the country by fighting the “two lethal vices of corruption and tribalism” which he said could easily destroy society.
“Fortunately, Zambia still has the founding father of the nation, Dr Kenneth David Kaunda, who, at independence, coined the slogan One Zambia, One Zambia. What does this slogan really mean to individual Zambians? What does it mean to politicians? Post-independence, Zambia experienced polarisation, strife and tension similar to what prevails currently and this situation was eventually mitigated by the signing of the Choma Declaration in 1973,”
“The country should re-visit the spirit and broad tenets of the Choma Declaration that promoted peace and national unity at a time of great national division and fully understand the genesis of the peace that Zambia has enjoyed for most of its existence.”
He added that while one might have reservations about the ushering in of the one party state in 1973, the focus should be on the selflessness, honesty and genuineness around the Declaration and spirit of give and take between the major parties that led to the peace and unity that followed.
“Following the Choma Declaration, Zambia made great efforts through the leadership of the first Republican President and individual citizens to foster peace and national unity, a thing that Zambia is renowned for globally. These efforts towards peace and unity post-1973 were not just in populist proclamations but in visible deeds. Leaders and citizens need to genuinely put their resources where their mouths are,” Nalubamba stated.
And the traditional leader stated that a vigorous fight against corruption was a precursor to socio-economic development.
“It is worthy to note that in Africa, all countries that are socially and economically progressive have a zero-tolerance to corruption, respect for the rule of law and a profound reliance on established governance and administrative structures, systems and protocols. Zambia cannot depart from these pre-requisites for development and hope to make any meaningful sustainable socio-economic development,” stated Nalubamba.
“The words of the complete national anthem are a timeless call to national unity, justice and patriotism that should inspire any well-meaning Zambians to stand up against the two lethal vices of corruption and tribalism in order for our country to move to a better future. The freedom fighters and founding fathers of this country envisaged a blessed country, inhabited by a dignified, hard-working, happy and unified citizenry.”