VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga says he hopes that political parties have matured enough to accept the principles of peaceful co-existence so that Zambia can enjoy peace and tranquillity, 57 years after independence.

In an independence message shared on Saturday, Mwaanga said the country should not allow high priests of tribalism to pollute citizens’ minds who have lived in harmony since independence.

“It is my fervent hope that after 57 years of independence, our political parties have matured enough, to accept the principles of peaceful co-existence, so that our country can enjoy peace and tranquillity. One Zambia, One Nation, has been our guiding light, although in the recent past, rabid tribalists resurfaced, whose irresponsible and blatant tribal statements went unpunished. We must not allow high priests of tribalism to pollute the minds of our people in the townships, who have lived together in peace and harmony, regardless of ethnicity, since independence,” he stated.

Mwaanga stated that he was proud to have participated in the country’s struggle for independence as it was not easy and required a lot of personal sacrifices.

He further stated that despite the major progress and development the country had experienced, more needed to be done to address the plight of ordinary citizens.

“In the last 57 years, a lot has been achieved in many sectors, but a lot more needs to be done, to address the plight of ordinary citizens of Zambia, particularly in areas such as Education, Health Care, supply of clean water, housing and infrastructure development among others,” said Mwaanga.

“Development is not a single event. It is a long process. We have a large army of unemployed young people, who need jobs, which can only materialise, when the economy begins to grow again.”