Peace and unity are prerequisites for Zambians to enjoy the fruits of independence, says General Malimba Masheke.
Gen Masheke said there was need for unity of purpose in the country if Zambia was to appreciate the 50 years of independence.
He said it important that Zambia had a vibrant economy to benefit its people and ensure there was change.
He said there was little development taking place because the Zambia had continued to struggle socially and economically, adding that political independence was not enough as it did not guarantee every Zambian freedom of expression.
Gen Masheke said only those who were in government enjoyed independence politically on grounds that policians had behaved selfishly in the way they related to national matters.
“We must appreciate independence if we as citizens are able to meet our demands, socially, economically, and politically. The questions we are asking is that are we able or managing life in Zambia,” he said.
He said talking about independence needed the management of democracy that allowed citizens to enjoy what belonged to them.
Gen Masheke said intolerance and lack of dialogue among leaders was betrayal of democracy that must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.
He said there was need to reconcile before Zambia celebrated its 50th Golden Jubilee in October this year so that Zambians could feel a sense of belonging.
Gen Masheke said it was possible for Zambia to maintain peace and unity, and that selfish and centered politicians should be ignored and condemned.
“It is shameful that policians have continued to use lies in their campaign as a tool to lure people to ascend to power.
“Once these leaders get their opportunities to be in office, they forget about what they promised people and that is the reason why Zambia has continued to experience high poverty levels,” he said.