—Traditional leaders in Southern Province have congratulated President Edgar Lungu on his victory in the just-ended Presidential election and pledged to support his development agenda.
Both Chief Chikanta and Chief Singani of the Tonga-speaking people in Kalomo and Choma districts respectively have congratulated President Lungu and expressed their commitment to support his leadership.
Speaking in separate interviews with ZANIS in Choma today the chiefs said they are more than ready to work with President Lungu to foster development in their chiefdoms.
“As traditional leaders we work with the government of the day. We gladly welcome the election of President Lungu and determined to support his development agenda,” they said.
Chief Singani, however, appealed to President Lungu to forgive the mistakes that people made towards him during the election campaigns.
He said as a traditional leader he is a non-partisan who is willing to work with the president-elect whom he believes is chosen by God.
“As Chief Singani I wish to ask the President to forgive mistakes, and take on the One Zambia One Nation slogan by ensuring that peace and unity prevail,” he said.
And Chief Chikanta said he and his subjects are looking forward to hosting the President at the palace as they extend a warm invitation to him.
“We want the President to come and visit us so that we may interact with him as we did with late President, Micheal Sata,” he said.
Chief Chikanta urged the President to carry on with the development projects the PF started since taking office in 2011.
He said his chiefdom is a farming community that requires a good road network and appealed to President Lungu to improve roads in his chiefdom.
Meanwhile, the two chiefs of the Tonga-speaking people in Southern Province have refuted claims that the voting patterns in Southern Province were tribal.
Chief Chikanta said the people of Southern Province voted based on the campaign promises that they heard and would have voted for President Lungu had he interacted with them more during the campaigns.
“Politics is about convincing people. The President never visited the people of Southern Province during his campaigns to sell his development agenda. Had he interacted with them the outcome would have been different,” he assured.
Çhief Chikanta said although he does not agree with the ongoing talks about tribalism in Southern Province the traditional leadership in the province is determined to eliminate the tribal patterns identified to foster unity in the country.
He, however, appealed to President Lungu not to listen to running commentries on tribalism that are just aimed at causing disunity.