FREEDOM fighter Grey Zulu yesterday clocked 90 years with a call on the Patriotic Front (PF) government to release the final draft constitution and to respect Zambians’ views and opinions.
And former President Rupiah Banda has vowed to help Mr Zulu claim his terminal benefits from government which he has not gotten since he retired from active politics in 1991.
Mr Zulu who is former UNIP secretary general before a return to multi-party politics in 1991, said the PF government was creating problems for itself for refusing to release the final draft constitution.
He was answering questions from journalists on his birthday at his Makeni residence in Lusaka.
“Members of Parliament should think about the well-being of Zambians when dealing with the constitution,” Mr Zulu said.
He said the constitution must be subjected to a national referendum in order to allow Zambians contribute to its making process.
Mr Zulu also advised Zambians and those aspiring to reach the age of 90 to be disciplined in life.
“You must have an objective in life, respect the rules of life then everything shall become easier for you,” he said.
Mr Zulu said Zambians should seek ideas which pleased the majority in society.
In the UNIP government, Mr Zulu was first appointed Minister of Commerce and Industry in 1964 and later moved to Transport and Works in the same year.
He was Minister of Mines and Co-operatives between 1965 and 1967; Minister of Home Affairs 1967 – 70; Minister of Defence 1970 – 73; secretary general of the party (equivalent to Vice President) 1973 – 78; secretary of state for Defence and Security 1997 – 85 and lastly secretary-general 1986 – 91.
And Mr Banda said yesterday that it was shameful that Mr Zulu had not been paid his terminal benefits.
“I think it is a shame that he has not received anything since he retired from active politics and government. I will call my colleagues in government to remind them about his (Mr Zulu) terminal benefits,” he said.
Mr Banda was speaking during Mr Zulu’s 90th birthday party at the former UNIP’s secretary general’s residence in Makeni yesterday.
The former head of state said politicians had a tendency of forgetting such important matters as paying terminal benefits.
“I grew up under his tutorage including that of Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Dr Kenneth Kaunda. It is wonderful for me to witness the 90th birthday of my uncle,” Mr Banda said.