By STEVEN ZANDE -
THE Government has urged Zambians to co-exist as a community for the country to maintain peace and unity, which is vital to sustained national development.
Acting Kalabo District Commissioner Siyupwa Kabisa said Zambia was on course in achieving meaningful development but this required that all citizens worked as a unit, without regard for fellow citizens’ tribal origins.
Mr Kabisa said this at St Michael’s Catholic Church in Kalabo District yesterday when he officially opened a Commission of Inquiry into Electoral Violence and Voting Patterns’ public sitting.
“Despite having 73 tribes, our forefathers wanted Zambia to develop on the premise of shared aspirations,” he said.
Mr Kabisa said as Zambia planned its national development path, elections were a crucial process in selecting capable leaders who would drive the national development agenda.
Therefore, elections should not be a divisive factor in national affairs but should help nurture Zambia’s democracy.
Mr Kabisa said findings of the Commission were vital to building a united Zambia but this could be achieved if residents opened up and presented before the Commission factual accounts of their experiences.
People should come before the Commission to tell Government how they feel things should be done to stop electoral violence and end bloc voting patterns while creating trust and enhancing unity and peace among the people.
Mr Kabisa said people should be united in diversity because violence did not benefit anyone and would not add value to the nation.
Robert Nawa, a 49-year-old vegetable grower told the Commission that the Government should be vigilant with spouting non-governmental organisations, some of which wanted to venture into politics with a view to destabilise the action.
Malisiso Mubukwanu, a 44-year-old Kalabo business executive said in his view, during the 2016 general elections area residents voted for the opposition at parliamentary and presidential levels because they wanted to change government administration.
Mr Mubukwanu cited stalled road projects, low electricity connectivity to the national grid as among other factors that left people in places including Sikongo frustrated and ready to vote for the opposition with a view to replace serving leaders.