FIRST Republican president Kenneth Kaunda has called on the people agitating for the separation of Western Province from the rest of Zambia to immediately stop their activities because their calls do not have a place in Zambia.
Dr Kaunda, the man who appended his signature with the Litunga Mwanawina Lewanika to give birth to Zambia described the activities of the Barotseland secession advocates as wrong and hoped they could stop the actions.
He said he was impressed with the position taken by the Litunga, through the spokesperson of the Baroste Royal Establishment (BRE) Oliver Saasa, to reject such activities and stop further confusion in the province.
In an interview at his office in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Kaunda said he was optimistic that the people behind the confusion would come to their senses and withdraw their intentions to concentrate on building unity anchored on the ideals of ‘One Zambia One Nation’.
Dr Kaunda said steps should be summoned to ensure that the confusion was stopped with utmost speed because Zambia had been built over a long time on the principles of love and unity.
“I am very sure they will get out of that feeling very soon and follow the advice of the Litunga who has spoken through Professor Oliver Saasa. He is a key member of the Barotse Royal Establishment, so they must just follow his advice,” Dr Kaunda said.
Dr Kaunda said Zambia should continue enjoying peace and the fruits of a unitary State which helped fight colonial oppression even across borders to demonstrate how peaceful Zambia was.
He said he was available to offer advice, counsel and direction to anyone including the people of Western Province for them to understand how Zambia was born and the need to continue protecting its existence.
The former president said even though the Government had not approached him for such advice, he was certain there was capacity in the Government to handle the matter and rest it.
He said when he was released from jail on January 7, 1960, he selected a white piece of cloth as a symbol of peace for himself and the entire nation, which was the reason he would never abandon it.
Secessionists in Western Province have lately involved themselves in covert meetings and other activities to press for the separation of the region from the rest of Zambia.
Police quelled a meeting called for January 14 this year and violent confusion ensued in which two people died and 131 were arrested and brought to Lusaka for further instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The BRE has said no statement would be issued on the recent fracas over the 1964 Barotseland Agreement in Mongu, but would do so at an appropriate time.
Induna Namuyamba said in a telephone interview from Mongu that at the moment, the Kuta (royal council) was not ready to issue any statement.
“We shall not issue a statement today but at an appropriate time when we are ready,” he said.
The Ngambela (prime minister) refused to comment on the matter, referring all queries to Induna Namuyamba who he said was the chairperson of the sub-committee on what was happening in the province.
Inspector-General of Police Francis Kabonde on Tuesday evening said the police would charge those arrested after consent had been sought from the DPP.
TIMES OF ZAMBIA