By Oliver Chisenga
SENIOR chieftainess Kawaza of the Chewa of Sinda and Katete districts in Eastern Province says the free education policy by President Hakainde Hichilema’s government reminds her of the Kaunda era.
And special assistant to the President for political affairs Levy Ngoma says President Hichilema does not want to have a relationship with chiefs only for electoral purposes.
Speaking when Ngoma paid a courtesy call on her, Kawaza hailed President Hichilema for introducing free education up to Grade 12.
“Free education is welcome; it actually reminds me of president Kaunda’s good old days. It’s honestly a good idea that the current President has thought of introducing free education in public schools,” Kawaza said on Monday. “I totally support the idea and we’ll support him.
He has made it easy for parents to send their children to school. Before free education was introduced, children used to stop school mid-way on account of failure to raise school fees, but not anymore.”
She said she is ready to work with the government of the day.
Later in the day, Ngoma went to senior chief Mbang’ombe.
He said President Hichilema sent him into Eastern Province to visit chiefs and carry out other strategic programmes.
“The President is saying ‘let us bring the chiefs closer to us’. He is saying ‘we shouldn’t just be bringing the chiefs closer when things are not going well for us politically’,” Ngoma told Mbang’ombe.
“President Hakainde Hichilema is also sending his appreciation to the people of Mbang’ombe chiefdom for the thousands of votes which you gave him in the August 2021 elections. He is truly grateful, your royal highness.”
He added that President Hichilema would soon be meeting with chiefs in provinces so that he could hear more about the socio-economic plight.
“The President is keen to have audience with all their royal highnesses. He has been emphasising that let our chiefs be respected,” said Ngoma.
In response, Mbang’ombe called on President Hichilema not to choose tribes in his governance style, “the way it was in the previous government’’.
“We are happy about many government pronouncements so far. We are proud of the free education policy. And let this government of President Hakainde Hichilema not choose people on any basis,” said Mbang’ombe. ‘’Since government changed, there is no chief who is PF.
People were supporting PF as a way to receive development. But now that the PF is no longer in power, what development can it bring to people? People are no longer PF, for what? Development will only be spearheaded by the UPND as at now.
So, why should someone be supporting the PF now? For now, it’s President Hichilema who is in charge of government and he is the only one who can initiate development, so we are behind President Hichilema.”