Veteran politician Dr Vernon Mwaanga says it is unfortunate that Zambia currently has a crop of political leaders who do not want to sit and talk about the problems the country is facing.

And Dr Mwaanga regrets that the current political leaders do not value the struggle that freedom fighters went through to liberate the country.

Meanwhile, Dr Mwaanga says it is unfortunate that veteran broadcaster Ben Kangwa has died at a time when Zambia’s upcoming journalists still had a lot to learn from veterans like him.

In statement, Dr Mwaanga observed that the country has abandoned it’s “one Zambia one Nation” motto because of some irresponsible and immature politicians who wanted to create divisions among citizens for their own selfish interests.

“As a freedom fighter, I am disappointed that our vision of ‘one Zambia one nation’ has been lost in recent years. We seem to have abandoned it in the sense that we no longer share a common future. Leaders are busy promoting divisions among our people, instead of bringing them together. Our people in the townships live in peace and harmony, regardless of ethnicity, but it is irresponsible and immature politicians who want to create divisions among our people for their own narrow selfish interests,” Dr Mwaanga stated.

“We cannot have a shared future, for as long as this cancer persists. There is urgent need for a change in the mindset of our new political leaders, who must embrace all Zambians regardless of where they come from. Zambia is for all Zambians. They are entitled to development from whatever government is in power, without discrimination. Let the original spirit of development for all be our guiding principle, not just in words, but deeds. Let all Zambians feel that they are part of Zambia and share in the limited resources of our great country. Personal greed, selfishness, looting of national resources by a few, should no longer be tolerated. We fought for the upliftment of the lives of all Zambians and not just a few, who hold power. Sacrifices when required, must be for all, so that together, we can gunuinely have a shared future of hope and better lives for all Zambians.”

And commenting on the country’s upcoming 54th Independence Anniversary, Dr Mwaanga noted that the current crop of leaders focussed more on denouncing each other and inciting their supporters to attack each other and create instability in the country instead of promoting peace and unity.

“During our time, we talked to the African National Congress (ANC), about everything and that is how we formed the first coalition black government in 1962. In this day and age of dialogue and reconciliation, we have political leaders, who don’t want to sit down and talk to each other about the problems facing our country. They seem content to denouncing each other in the media and inciting their hired supporters to attack each other and create instability in our country. Even the worst of enemies, the United States of America and North Korea, are talking to each other and finding something positive in each other,” he observed.

“What is wrong with our current crop of political leaders? Sit down and talk to each other, because that is what a majority of our people want to see. Discuss the many problems facing our people such as poverty, unemployment particularly among young people, political violence, restoration of the rule of law, the constitution, the public order act, declining education standards among others and come up with solutions. This is what leadership is all about. Make us the freedom fighters who fought so hard and sacrificed so much, feel that our sacrifices were worthwhile. You may not know what we went through or who we are, but that is not important. You may not even invite us for independence celebrations, but that too is not important. Just do the right things for our country and people.”

Meanwhile, commenting on the passing of veteran broadcaster, Ben Kangwa, who died on Wednsday night after an illness, Dr Mwaanga said it was sad that the cold hand of death had snatched yet another soul worth emulating from the country’s media industry.

“The death of Ben Kangwa came as a shock to many of us. He was a consummate professional broadcast journalist, who observed ethics up to the end of his life. He has gone too soon, because he had a lot to impart to young journalists and broadcasters in terms objectivity and clarity. He was deep in his analysis of national issues and yet humble. Even when he was being humiliated by his employers from time to time, he suffered in dignified silence and showed no signs of bitterness. He was a gentleman among gentlemen and never failed to rise to challenges he faced from time to time. Once again, the cold hand of death, has robbed our country of a valuable national asset, whose professional accomplishments can at best, only be matched, but certainly not surpassed. Our deepest condolences go to his wife Jayne, the children and grandchildren on their sad loss. We can only ask God to comfort them during this difficult time and give them strength in the full Christian belief, that God’s will has been done. May the angels open the gates of Heaven, so that this humble servant, can be granted eternal peace by his creator,” mourned Dr Mwaanga.