Chama tests UPND stronghold

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) secretary general Davis Chama is on a marathon tour of Southern Province in a bid to cut the political dominance of the United Party for National Development (UPND) in the region ahead of the 2016 general elections.

He is also in Southern Province to mend his relationship with the people of the region following controversy earlier this year that he had insulted Tongas which compelled President Edgar Lungu to meet with the traditional leadership in the area.

Mr Chama told the Daily Nation in Sinazongwe that he had undertaken a tour of Southern Province to resuscitate the PF structures at all levels ahead of the 2016 general elections.

He said he had met with several chiefs in Southern Province and that it was pleasing that the messages from the chiefs were about forgiveness, reconciliation, tolerance and unity.

Mr Chama said he met Chiefs Chongo in Monze, Sinazongwe, Mweemba and other traditional leaders who have warned against the risk of changing Government next year because such an act would have serious economic and political ramifications.

He said the chiefs were aware that there was a particular media house in the country that was propagating hatred, tribalism and politics of malice and were concerned with the agenda of some politicians to divide the country on the basis of ethnicity.

“We have been on tour of Southern Province and have had encouraging meetings with our traditional leaders. We are receiving overwhelming reception from the people and the message from our chiefs is all about forgiveness, reconciliation, unity and development.

‘‘The traditional leaders are happy with the selfless leadership President Lungu is providing and have warned against the risk of changing government next year. They have cautioned against experimenting leadership because they understand the ramifications of such acts,” Mr Chama said.

Mr Chama explained that the chiefs in Southern Province did not want to dwell on the artificial differences which were negating development and that he was happy that Chief Sinazongwe candidly emphasized the need to support President Lungu.

He said the four years the PF was in Government was not enough to judge the leadership of President Lungu and it was only prudent that the Head of State should be given a new mandate to continue with his vision.

Mr Chama explained that the people of Southern Province supported UNIP for 27 years and gave the MMD 20 years and were now willing to ensure that the PF term should run the full course.

He stated that the PF Government was not going to be voted out next year and predicted that the ruling party was going to be in Government for a long time to come because Zambians had developed a lot of confidence in President Lungu.

“For the first time in history, all farmers have been paid all their money and they have received their seed and fertilizer. The farmers are only worried about the weather which we have no control over.

‘‘This Government is here to stay and it is amazing how much development has come to Southern Province despite the people not voting for the PF,” Mr Chama said.