Muchinga Province chiefs have asked the UPND to accept the last year’s election results for the sake of national unity.

Speaking when they met with President Edgar Lungu, who concludes his three-day working holiday to that province today, the chiefs, through a representative urged the UPND to acknowledge him as Head of State.

“We as royal highnesses are calling upon those who are still finding it difficult to accept the decision of the people to elect Lungu in the 2016 August elections to do so in the interest of national unity. We must cherish the peace that God allowed to prevail in our land,” they said.

The chiefs also said they were disappointed that UPND MPs shunned President Lungu’s address to Parliament.

“We are however concerned with some of the recent happenings where some members of the opposition decided to stay away from parliament when the President was addressing the house in line with the Constitution. We are deeply saddened and taken aback to see that the duly elected members of parliament chose to go against their pledge they made to the electorates who voted for them,” they said.

“We are therefore concerned that the opposition members of parliament, who took oath to uphold the Constitution, decided to negate their responsibility enshrined in the Constitution. We therefore appeal that this behavior that we have witnessed from the opposition recently should not be allowed to continue. We strongly condemn and state that such acts and behavior do not have any place in the development of our country. And the strange part is that they are still rambling that there is no president yet they go to sit in parliament, I don’t know how they interpret that.”

The traditional leaders also appealed to President Lungu to focus on finishing the projects that he had started in the area.

“We therefore do not ask that you start a new project but that you should continue to finish the projects that you have already started in our province which includes the upgrading of the hydro power stations to alleviate the power shortage as well as expediting works on the water reticulation project, the construction of the Chinsali-Mbesuma, Mbitanabwalya roads which will enhance the potential for arts and cultural tourism sectors in the area. Muchinga province is a sleeping giant and has tourism potential that if explored, it can create numerous jobs and contribute to growth domestic production in the country,” said the Chiefs.

“If the private sector can partner with government and construct shopping malls here, our people can stop travelling long distances to access essential commodities.”

The chiefs have also thanked government for the measures being put in place to protect the Mukula tree and pledged to corporate in arresting those involved in its illegal exportation.