By SIMON MUNTEMBA
THE gesture by President Hakainde Hichilema to visit and consult fourth republican President Rupiah Banda at his home is commendable and next time he should visit his brother, Edgar Lungu, Archbishop Peter Ndhlovu has said.
Dr Ndhlovu, who is Bible Gospel Church in Africa Presiding Archbishop said he was happy that President Hichilema showed leadership by visiting Mr Banda who had not been feeling too well due to the cancer which he had and took advantage of the visit to consult him on national matters.
He said in an interview that the commendable move by President Hichilema would ease the tension in the country and set a new tone of political dispensation.
“Today I am the happiest person because President Hichilema has shown leadership by visiting RB to consult and consult him on national issues. That is what we want to see.
“The spirit of antagonism is not needed. What is needed now is to take this country forward. And as a President, what he did to visit RB to see him and consult is commendable, that is how true leadership is,” Archbishop Ndhlovu said.
He however urged the Head of State to also visit Mr Lungu just to see him and exchange notes.
“And now we would like to see him do the same to his brother, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. He can also consult and learn something from ECL because just like RB, he was a bank of knowledge. We want them to be meeting regularly, and sometimes off camera. Real reconciliation is what we want,” Archbishop Ndhlovu said.
He said Mr Hichilema should utilise his two predecessors who are still living to seek guidance on several national issues.
“The bank of knowledge is with those that have gone before him. He should consult the former Presidents whenever he needed their guidance. In fact, Zambia is blessed to have two former Presidents who are still living, that is a blessing that President Hichilema should take advantage of to seek guidance whenever he has a challenge,” he said.
Archbishop Ndhlovu also urged Zambians to take a leaf from the United States of America where former Presidents were respected.
“Let us learn from what is happening in America where even after leaving office, their Presidents are respected regardless of their flaws. As Zambians, we need to respect our existing Presidents who have retired because they are not liabilities but assets to the nation,” he said.
On Tuesday, President Hichilema said he visited Mr Banda who had not been feeling too well and used the opportunity to consult and seek his guidance on several national issues.