PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has said he will appoint Cabinet ministers based on merit and not tribe.
Responding to questions from Zambians living in Ethiopia at Zambia House during dinner on Thursday, Mr Lungu said what was causing the seemingly high levels of tribalism in Zambia was unequal development.
Mr Lungu said some Zambians felt deprived of development and pledged that he would make sure his administration equitably distributed the country’s wealth.
“I will choose my Cabinet on merit. We can conquer tribalism based on meritorious appointments,” Mr Lungu said.
The President assured Zambians in the Diaspora that the country was stable and there were no divisions among Zambians at home.
The dinner was hosted in honour of the President by the Zambian community living in Ethiopia at the residence of Zambia’s High Commissioner to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta.
“If there are attempts to divide us using tribe, we are saying no!
There is no area where we lost because overall, Zambians chose us.
Tribalism is fiction because anyone who practices it does it at their own peril because it does not hold water,” Mr Lungu said.
“What brings out tribalism in some of our people is a feeling of deprivation of development and the Government will ensure equitable distribution of wealth in all provinces.”
Mr Lungu said Zambia was indivisible and his leadership would ensure that the country remained united.
He remained committed to delivering a new Constitution as soon as possible but what was delaying the process was the limited resource envelope by the Government.
President Lungu said he had not signed the social contract on the Constitution-making process because he was being realistic.
He said he had shown political will by releasing the Draft constitution and the roadmap, a sign that tremendous progress was being made to achieve the ultimate goal.
Mr Lungu also said the Government was ready to negotiate the mineral royalty tax with mining companies.
His Government wanted a win-win situation and that it would ensure that it reached consensus with all stakeholders.
“If we fail to be flexible, we will fail to govern. If we are going to be rigid, we will fail to govern because governance is all about consensus and compromise,” President Lungu said.
Mr Lungu also disclosed that he would in the next few weeks meet the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to chat the way forward on the Barotseland Agreement.
President of the Zambian community living in Ethiopia Samuel Bwalya said his colleagues were happy with the peaceful outcome of the just-ended presidential election.
Dr Bwalya said Zambians living in Ethiopia were willing to contribute to Zambia’s development through their various expertise.
He said they were looking forward to the formulation of the Diaspora policy as announced by Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba.
[times of zambia]
By ANTHONY MULOWA in Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA –