VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga says President Edgar Lungu and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema have demonstrated great maturity and have put the interests of the country above self. On Tuesday, the three Church mother bodies revealed that they facilitated a meeting between President Lungu and Hichilema on November 12 where the two leaders expressed unconditional support to an inclusive and church-led national dialogue and reconciliation process.
The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops, Council of Churches in Zambia and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia stated that the “landmark meeting” was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere and that the two leaders “addressed each other as brothers with great respect for each other.”
Mwaanga said his faith in the country had been renewed upon learning of the private meeting between President Lungu and Hichilema.
“It has been my firmly held belief expressed directly to the two leaders that they needed to meet and discuss the many problems facing our country. By meeting under the watchful eye of the church mother bodies, they have demonstrated great maturity and put the interests of our country above self. They have made me proud of my country,” he said.
Mwaanga said in commending both leaders for taking “this small step”, it was his fervent hope and prayer that they would meet more often going forward and begin to develop trust and confidence in each other. He said the two leaders had also demonstrated leadership, which he hoped would be emulated by their officials and supporters, who must be made to understand that politics was not war, and that Zambia belongs to all Zambians.
“… and that even when we disagree on certain issues, we should do so in a respectful manner, without being disagreeable, devoid of hatred and ill temper. We have a great country and if this spirit demonstrated by our two leaders becomes the norm, then we can all work together to make our country even greater,” said Mwaanga. “My special thanks are reserved for the three church mother bodies for arranging this meeting and for asking God to guide our two leaders in their meeting. They strengthen my long held belief, that they are best suited to lead our national political dialogue process, which will lead to national reconciliation in our country.”