Senior Chief Hamusonde of the Tonga-speaking people says the 2021 general elections will not be peaceful if the Church is not allowed to lead the national dialogue process as it is the only non-partisan mediator.

And chief Hamusonde says people in his chiefdom have not yet received farming inputs from government.

In an interview Chief Hamusonde warned that the 2021 polls would only be peaceful if the Church is allowed to lead the national dialogue process as it was the only non-partisan mediator.

“If the dialogue was to be run by the ZCID (Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue), we are not going to have a peaceful election in 2021 because that is going to be working for a political party, whichever political party. Now if it is done by the three Church mother bodies, I am very sure and positive that everything will be right in 2021. God should be feared first as we are a Christian country and we are Christians, politicians should, therefore, respect the clergymen who are working for God, according to our belief as Christians. They will not cause us any harm in anyway politically, so we should allow them to lead the dialogue process smoothly. I am telling every politician in this country, ‘fear God first’ once we fear God, we are not going to be pointing unnecessary fingers at each other because we shall have all our rights and ambitions in the armpit of Jesus Christ. I am telling the politicians that they should align themselves to any of the Churches that worships Christ and they will be good Christians and Zambia will be a good Christian country. If you are only saying we are Christians, but you are dragging the country outside Christianity, then you are not a Christian,” Chief Hamusonde said.

“I will tell you directly from deep down my heart, I will not cheat you. The Church-run dialogue is what we have been waiting for quite a long time. National dialogue is not political party dialogue, even if I haven’t been to school enough, but the little that I picked in class, there is a great difference between national dialogue and political inter-party dialogue. National dialogue means a lot of things, not only politics, but it also involves things that are outside politics. And it can only be held properly by a non-partisan entity like the Church, which does not have partisan interests of favouring any political party. So, that’s the only institution that should be allowed to conduct national dialogue.”

And Chief Hamusonde said the Church-led dialogue would represent every Zambian.

“I am personally so happy to hear that the Church is now leading the national dialogue, that’s a proper way in which every Zambian will feel covered. If it’s political party dialogue, those who belong to UPND, will be fighting to suit their party and those who belong to PF will be fighting that some other clauses don’t come in, so that they remain in power forever and ever, suiting PF because they are already in power. National dialogue will not favour UPND, national dialogue will not favour PF, whether it is the party ruling, it will favour 17 million Zambians, so that Thomas Mulenga would be able to express himself freely in a democratic country, so that chief Hamusonde will express himself freely without fearing anything, because he knows that he will be protected by law, not by the wish of the party. Not being protected by the party because it’s the party in power. I don’t belong to any party, I have no card for any political party, nothing, since I was born, not even before I became a chief, so I am speaking from the bottom of my heart,” chief Hamusonde explained.

Meanwhile, chief Hamusonde disclosed that people in his chiefdom have not yet received farming inputs from government, and has urged government to be planning for the farming season in advance in order to avoid inconveniencing farmers.

“My people, the Illa people of Bwengwa, the Lundwe people of Bweengwa, have had no farming inputs. It is so bad what’s happening in Monze, how farmers are waiting for inputs. The MP for Bweengwa and my coordinator, were amongst the people that were being troubled yesterday over farming inputs. This signifies that the people of Bweengwa have not yet received farming inputs. The government should start planning for the farming season early enough to avoid this kind of inconveniences to farmers,” said chief Hamusonde.