Senior Chief Mwase of the Tumbuka people in Lundazi on Saturday disregarded a directive from intelligence officers guiding him not to meet Bahati PF member of parliament Harry Kalaba.
His spokesperson Edwin Zimba revealed this to Kalaba when the former foreign affairs minister paid a courtesy call on the traditional leader at his palace.
Zimba said it was shocking that the intelligence officers wanted the chief not to meet Kalaba without any reason.
“I have been receiving calls from the intelligence officer telling me to inform the chief not to meet you, Honourable. But this is the chief for all people. The poor, the rich, the mad are all his people. So, he is not into politics and he can meet any person regardless where he or she belongs. Even today, they have been following me and I just met them. They started asking me questions and finding out what you wanted to tell the chief. What you wanted to bring for the chief and so I told them to ask the chief! They are here right now and they are driving a white (Toyota) Land Cruiser,” Zimba narrated.
He told Kalaba that the chief was happy for him to visit the area.
“This is the only time we have seen a politician coming because even ba President Edgar Lungu has never visited us! So, we are very happy to see you and we welcome you here,” said Zimba.
And Kalaba expressed sadness that Eastern Province had no manufacturing industry.
“We are planting cotton here. The truth of the matter is that there is no manufacturing industry for anything in this province and yet the potential that is here is too massive. If only we can place emphasis on cotton growing here it will have the price, and it will be what this country would expected to be,” Kalaba said.
The Democratic Party 2021 aspiring presidential candidate wondered why cotton growers have been discouraged when the province has fertile land.
“The soils are favourable and yet we are discouraging cotton growers because the rice is just too low. We need to begin insisting where it really matters, and for me, the only way for this country to be what it should be is by placing emphasis like I said on agriculture. We have to start using hands like the Chinese did in 1980s to get ourselves out of it,” said Kalaba, the former Foreign Affairs Minister.
“Agriculture can create jobs and Dr Kaunda in the 60s, 70s and 80s insisted on agriculture. The Chinese that we are talking about today, in 1980, it was the Chinese revolution that changed that country. So, for us, if at all we want to get out of this doldrums, we will need to be doing agriculture.”
Kalaba also promised that once voted into power in August, 2021, he will ensure he develops all parts of the country.
Earlier, Kalaba paid a courtesy call on chief Chanje of the Chewa speaking people.
And farmers in Lumezi, Mwase and Lundazi towns have assured Kalaba of a vote in the 2021 presidential election.
Meanwhile, Kalaba asked Christians of Luangani District to pray for him as he pursues the 2021 presidential race when he visited the area, Sunday.
Kalaba who attended the Church service at Chimphinga’s New Apostolic in Chief Saila’s area, said he was touched to see how people in Luangani were suffering.
“I have come to congregate with you because as you are praying, you should also remember me in your prayers that Harry Kalaba came and left his position so that we should work together. I have seen how people here are suffering and I am so touched. I pray to God that he should touch your hearts so that you should vote for me in that year so that together we can change this country,” said Kalaba.
“From 1960, 1970 and 1980 when Kaunda was a leader in this country, you saw that agriculture here was on top but today farmers have sold their maize and government has not yet paid them and this is the time they are getting fertilizers. The poverty levels in our houses is
getting high. Our children are failing to go to school because you parents have no money. And this government has not paid you. So let’s work together so that we end this problem. Look at the roads. They are in a bad state and no transporter can come her to buy your commodities.”
And Elias Sakala, a warden at St Johns Anglican Church in the same area, said the Church would continue to pray for Kalaba so that once voted into office in 2021, he may redeem them.
“We will continue praying for you so that your works would redeem us. As a church, we shall remember you in prayers so that God may make you a good leader. As you have seen for yourself that we here are facing a lot of challenges. The church cannot do anything to help in because
there is no money. As a church we have a lot church projects which have stopped due to lack of money. We have old people who cannot but the church have failed to help them,” said Sakala.
Meanwhile, village representative Joseph Chirwa said divisions in the PF were a source of worry to them.
“The truth is that PF lacks truthfulness. Look there is confusion. We have MP Charles Zulu who won on the same ticket but other PF members are coming to claim that they are also MPs and they are putting people in positions. Would you call that as being open to the people? So the
truth is this man ‘ Kalaba’ was a Minister but because he saw that this party is not truthful to the people, he resigned. We are suffering here because of luck of truthful by the government leaders,” said Zulu.
Meanwhile, 41 members people from MMD, UPND and PF defected to join Democratic Party.