PRESIDENT Lungu is concerned that there is too much politicking in Zambia at the expense of national development.
And President Lungu has advised Zambians living in the diaspora to ignore cheap politicking by some politicians in Zambia.
“Back home everything is politics. If you are tall, they say ‘no, you are short,’ because they want to oppose your height. It is sad but take advantage you who are in Botswana because you are exposed and let us avoid politicking at everything. Don’t buy into the politics of typical Zambians resident in Zambia,” President Lungu said.
The President was speaking at the Zambian High Commission here on Sunday evening when he met Zambians resident in Botswana.
“Some people at home want to politicise everything, including the power deficit, which is not our making but a phenomenon that has beset our region. But I want to be as practical as possible and interact with you so that you can speak and exchange ideas,” President Lungu said.
He said that the Zambezi River Authority has warned that if Zambia and Zimbabwe do not regulate the use of water from Lake Kariba for power generation, which is a shared resource, there will be no electricity in the two countries by October or November this year.
“It is as bad as that, and so as Government, we are working hard to ensure alternative energy in form of solar, wind power and so on,” President Lungu said.
He said his administration aims to improve the lives of the people.
He said his Government wants to galvanise every Zambian for the cause of making the country a better place for all.
“As leaders in the region, we are meeting here to try and find ways of tackling this situation. All of us in the region are hit and those who don’t travel want to politicise everything. It is a pity but back home, everything is politics. Zambia is a political country,” President Lungu said.
And President Lungu assured Zambians resident in Botswana that his Government would not shield anyone engaging in violence.
“We need to vigorously educate our youths against violence. I am not the type to defend wrongs. Our very own provincial leader on the Copperbelt is in court on allegations of violence. I have not interfered with the case but if I was tolerant to violence, I could have easily done that by talking with the police command before the case went to court,” President Lungu said.
He was responding to a question by a Zambian resident in Botswana, Taza Mkandawire, who expressed concern over political violence.
“No-one has commended me for opposing violence. Zambia is a politicking country. Everything you do is politics. They accuse the Patriotic Front of being violent when we have distanced ourselves from it. No wonder others will remain in the opposition forever,” President Lungu said.
Another Zambian resident in Botswana, Paul Lwanga, asked President Lungu whether it is true that there is a dual citizenship clause in the draft constitution.
In response, President Lungu said it is sad that most Zambians have not read the draft constitution that has now been made public yet they are ever criticising it.
Meanwhile, President Lungu says the SADC tribunal, which seeks to empower citizens to sue their Governments, will not be meaningful if non-state actors are not allowed to participate.
“The SADC tribunal is meant to be a supreme imposing body where citizens can run to but if we remove nationals, then I don’t see any future in it. I am worried as Zambia that it will be a paper tiger,” President Lungu.
He was responding to a question by Sharon Simwanza, a Zambian working at the SADC secretariat in Gaborone.
And a representative of the Zambian community in Botswana, Rosemary Musonda, thanked President Lungu for taking time to meet with them.
Dr Musonda said Zambians resident in Botswana have resolved to invest back home because of President Lungu’s all-embracing governance style.
“We wish to inform you of our unwavering support to you and your government. We will work closely with the mission here and invest back home,” Dr Musonda said.
She appealed to President Lungu to prioritise investment in the energy sector because energy insecurity can override economic gains.