President Edgar Lungu this afternoon graced the Africa Freedom Day celebrations and saluted members of the public who illegally entered State House in an effort to meet their President.
And President Lungu says former colonial masters have regrouped to recolonise selected countries in Africa.
President Lungu said this in his official address at the event which was attended by Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Grey Zulu among other freedom fighters, various diplomats accredited to Zambia, defence service chiefs and youths from all walks of life.
He said the same frustrations faced by people who were prevented from interacting with their President were the same frustrations he was facing because he was lonely.
“I never forget to thank those who managed to break the gates and managed to enter without invitation cards. I keep saying so because I know its very difficult to keep them away. On a serious note, I wish to say you are all welcome regardless of how you entered these premises and please feel at home. When I was going my Zambia National Service training, it was called initiative. I don’t know if its still initiative because if they catch you its not initiative,” President Lungu said.
“You may wish to know that the office of the President of the Republic of Zambia is generally a busy one. But it can equally be lonely, as most of the time I do not have an opportunity such as this one to freely interact with my fellow citizens and mingle. I hope there will be time as we eat to mingle freely. And please security, mwibacinga abantu (don’t block people) please. I know that you balamicinga, nainewine balancing (they block you and they block me too). The frustration that you feel by not being allowed to have access to the President is the same frustration that I feel for not having access to you. So I hope that today these barriers can be broken for a while so that we can mingle freely. The President can meet the people and the people can meet the President.”
And President Lungu also expressed sadness that some former colonial masters were regrouping in Africa to recolonise some countries like Zambia.
“Dr Kaunda sir, I wish to tell you that we know that there is a scheme where some former colonial masters want to regroup and takeover some leadership in some countries, we will not allow that,” he said.
He thanked Kaunda and other freedom Fighters for their tenacity and commitment to Zambia’s freedom struggle.
“I said this when putting to rest madam Salome Kapwepwe and I will say this again, we have a lot to learn from you and your friends,” President Lungu said.
Meanwhile, the Head of State said whoever did not attend the Africa Freedom Day Celebrations at the Freedom Statue and the Investiture ceremony at State House today is not a Zambian.
“This is not my day, it’s our day. So whoever is not with us today because of politics is not a Zambian because if you are Zambian, you must be proud to be here. Why should we be fighting against freedom?” President Lungu asked.
He however said he was delighted that majority of those who had turned up were youths.
“I am particularly happy to see that the majority of people at this gathering today are youths. This goes very well with the theme of this year’s Africa Freedom Day which is ‘harnessing the democratic dividends through investments in the youths’. I think Zambia should set standards by proving that we can harvest democratic dividends in a very short time.
At the African Union we talk of Agenda 2063 for Africa, I want to talk about Agenda 2023 [for Zambia] because I believe that we can make a lot of dramatic changes to our wellbeing by simply being focused,” said President Lungu.
Among those who received distinguished investiture awards were the Under-20 national soccer team for winning the Africa Cup of Nations and pugilist Chatherine Phiri for becoming the first African female boxer and Zambian to win the World Boxing Council title.