Lozi loyalists unearth PF’s ploy to divide Zambia

SOME prominent Lozi people of Western Province have unearthed a ploy in which the Patriotic Front (PF) intends to influence chiefs in North-Western and Copperbelt provinces to back calls on dividing Zambia along regional lines.
The Lozi loyalists said yesterday that the PF was working to lure chiefs in the two provinces by promising them special incentives, particularly from the mining industry, should they convince their subjects to vote for the opposition party.
But some Lamba traditional rulers have warned that no amount of persuasion or bribery from anyone would sway them from their stand on a united Zambia.
The Lozi loyalists, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the Times that the PF had sponsored a group of party members to visit some chiefs in the two provinces and deliver the promises of “better lives” from the top leadership.
“We are just concerned that all this talk about separating our province from Zambia is resting on money, and the PF is spreading its desperate manoeuvres t o the Copperbelt and North-Western Province because they are interested in the mines.
“They want to tell chiefs in these provinces that if they are voted into office they will introduce some special taxes to directly benefit the traditional rulers,” they said.
However, Chief Ndubeni of the Lamba people in Masaiti District warned people bent on secessionism to keep away from his chiefdom.
In an interview yesterday, the chief said he would not condone those advocating secession to get anywhere near his chiefdom for any reasons.
He said Zambians had enjoyed peace under the “One Zambia-One Nation” motto since independence and that those trying to advocate what he called destruction of peace should not be tolerated.
“We do not want such manoeuvres in Lambaland and those trying to bring such confusion should be warned that they will not be tolerated.
“We are all Zambians and let us not destroy the peace we have all along enjoyed,” he said.
Senior Chief Mushili said people calling for the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement as well as influencing other Zambians on negative issues should stop doing so.
The traditional ruler, who spoke through his induna, said Zambia was one country and it was important for people to live in peace and avoid activities that would compromise national security.
“Let those people take it easy because we are related in one way or another, let us exercise the spirit of ‘One Zambia-One Nation,” he said.
But PF spokesperson Given Lubinda distanced his party from the secessionsists spreading wings to the Copperbelt and North-Western Province, saying the party leadership had not met to discuss the matter.
He, however, said the Barotseland Agreement should not be ignored because it was still in force especially that the parties concerned had not met to agree to abolish it.
“What is required is Government to provide leadership and bringing together all the parties concerned to a roundtable where the relevance and irrelevance of the agreement can be discussed and ensure the matter is put to rest,” Mr Lubinda said.
He said his party was not aware of people going round the Copperbelt because it had not mandated anyone to carry out such a task.

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