By KETRA KALUNGA
DON’T ignore Edgar Lungu as he is now the only surviving former Head of State for consultations on a number of issues affecting the country, the church has urged President Hakainde Hichilema.
Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) and BIGOCA said now was the time for President Hichilema to fully utilise Mr. Lungu for the benefit of the nation as he was the only surviving former Head of State after the death of fourth republican president, Rupiah Banda.
CCZ general secretary, Emmanuel Chikoya said in an interview that the office of the former president should not be downplayed because it was strategic in fostering continued development and the death of Mr Banda creates the atmosphere for sustained peace between Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Lungu.
Fr. Chikoya also said Mr. Lungu should look beyond all the differences he might have had with President Hichilema and begin to work as a statesman who would be available to offer advice and engage in works that are beyond the scenes.
He said on the other hand, President Hichilema should ensure that he was not carried away with being the head of State to an extent that he becomes impervious to advice.
Fr. Chikoya said Zambians were eager to see President Hichilema and Mr. Lungu exchanging ideas and interacting and that don’t necessarily have to be in the public space.
“For example, what will the first lady Ms Mutinta Hichilema lose in reaching out and interacting to former first lady, Ms Esther Lungu nothing, they will gain more. What then will the President lose if he did reach out and interact with Mr. Lungu? Nothing,” he said.
Meanwhile, BIGOCA general overseer, Archbishop Peter Ndhlovu said if President Hichilema wanted to succeed as republican President, he should take out pride and learn to consult with his predecessor, Mr. Lungu.
Archbishop Ndhlovu said the head of State should forget the political difference he might have with Mr. Lungu because in politics, there are no permanent enemies.
He said President Hichilema needed to make a decision to help him in and out of office and in the office there are people who have gone before him that he needed to consult and could only do that if he takes Mr. Lungu as a brother and statesman.
Archbishop Ndhlovu urged the two to forget about hatred and learn to forgive each other for whatever wrong they did to one another.
“The time has come and the reality is there, the man we looked up to is gone, now President Hichilema has no option but to look to Mr. Lungu and Mr. Lungu must also look up to HH and the two should work as brothers for peace to prevail in this, Archbishop Ndhlovu said.