By ANNIE ZULU
ZAMBIA is bigger than any tribe and I will continue appointing people based on their abilities and not tribe, President Edgar Lungu has said.
President Lungu said he was shocked by a named traditional leader from Central Province who criticised the appointment of former Kitwe district commissioner Chanda Kabwe as permanent secretary for the province.
The traditional leader is reported to have opposed Mr Kabwe’s appointment on account that he did not come from the province.
President Lungu however said he did not make appointments based on tribal lines.
The President said this when he swore in Mr Kabwe at State House yesterday.
“I want to appeal to traditional leaders that One Zambia, One Nation is here to stay and I will appoint people on merit and send them where I think they will serve the country better regardless of their ethnicity or origin. This is simply because Zambia is bigger that tribe,” President Lungu said.
He said he would call the named leader over the sentiments because they bordered on tribalism which had caused civil wars in some African countries.
President Lungu has called on traditional leaders in the country to continue promoting unity under the One Zambia, One Nation motto. He noted that traditional leaders were key development partners for Government.
“Traditional leaders are supposed to promote peace and unity in the country and not become vehicles of division. They must continue to uphold the One Zambia, One Nation motto,” he said.
President Lungu asked Mr Kabwe to work with traditional leaders in the province so as to shame the named traditional leader.
“Go there and serve them to the best of your ability so that you show them that you are one of them and that you are Zambian. Make this same chief ashamed by paying courtesy on all traditional leaders and working with them hand in hand,” he said.
The President also urged Mr Kabwe to work hard in order to encourage the appointing authority to appoint more youths.
“What you will do will encouraged us to appoint more youths in leadership positions; if you let us down it will mean that we will be losing confidence in the youths, so do your best,” he said.
And speaking to journalists after the ceremony, Mr Kabwe pledged to work hard as advised by the Head of State so as to ensure that more youths were appointed.
He promised to work with stakeholders such as traditional leaders in order to develop the province. “I am going to work hard to ensure that more young people are appointed in decision making positions. I will also work with stakeholders especially the traditional leaders,” Mr Kabwe said.
Mr Kabwe said he would focus on improving the agriculture sector in the province and regain its former glory.