Fourth Revolution Party leader Eric Chanda says President Edgar Lungu’s decision to stay away from traditional ceremonies will divide the country further.

And Chanda says chiefs of Southern Province will remain offended until the Head of State and his Cabinet tender an honest and official apology for bad remarks made by ruling party officials.

Speaking in an interview with News Diggers today, Chanda noted that President Lungu had acted emotionally.

“I know that in his wisdom the President thinks not attending traditional ceremonies is the way to unite the country, but you tell him that in comrade Eric Chanda’s wisdom, that is the most divisive way of approaching the issues that relates to traditional rulers,” Chanda said.

“For them to take an antagonistic way to say ‘we have stopped attending traditional ceremonies’, I think that is a more divisive way and there will be more confusion than ever. Those chiefs are part of this country Zambia. They are our people, they deserve respect, they deserve recognition. When they are upset, when they are annoyed with your act, you don’t also act with your annoyance, you don’t act with your antagonism.”

He said President Lungu needed to go and apologise to the Southern Province chiefs, as a starting point for reconciliation with traditional leaders.

“The best way to unite this country, you tell ba Lungu, you tell his Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, ba Sichalwe that the whole cabinet should take a trip to Southern Province. Let them humble themselves and kneel down to the people of Southern Province, apologise for all the utterances by comrade Kambwili when he was in cabinet, all the utterances that ba Defense Minister ba Chama made, what my elder sister Mumbi Phiri said. Let them go humble themselves and say ‘sorry’ to the Tonga speaking people,” said Chanda.

“Let them say ‘sorry’ kubantu baku musanza. He should realise that Chief Mukuni is not happy with the way they have been treating them. And if he wants to take an antagonistic way to approach the chiefs of southern province, the people of southern province, that is dividing the country further. So am just giving them wisdom, free advise, they will lose nothing by kneeling down. Go humble yourselves”