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Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) says it is regrettable that President Hakainde Hichilema failed to pay a courtesy call on Inkosi Ya Makosi Paramount Chief Mpezeni when he visited Chipata two weeks ago.

He said is also regrettable that the head of state failed to pay a courtesy call on Paramount Chief Chitimukulu when he visited Kasama yesterday.

He said in a statement that after ignoring the two Paramount Chiefs, the President decided to visit other junior chiefs in the respective areas instead.

“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we would not want to speculate why President Hichilema has been acrimonious towards the two Paramount Chiefs ever since he ascended to the Presidency. However, our advice to the President is that he needs to respect traditional leadership and also adhere to the well established norms and protocols for treatment of traditional leaders in Zambia” he said.

He said President Hichilema should desist from his habit of only respecting traditional leaders that come from his political strongholds in the country.

“Mr Hichilema must understand and appreciate that now that he is Republican President, he needs to be a President for all Zambians. Otherwise he will not succeed in uniting the country if he segregates which traditional leaders he gives respect and which ones he doesn’t” Mr Tembo further stated.

He has since called upon President Hichilema to extend an apology to both Inkosi ya Makosi Paramount Chief Mpezeni and Paramount Chief Chitimukulu for visiting their towns but ignoring to pay a courtesy call on these senior traditional leaders.

“Such an apology is important as a way for the President to embrace all the regions of the country and unite the nation. For it is only through a united Zambia that we can achieve national development and prosperity for our people” he said.

Mr Tembo said going forward, President Hichilema should desist from acts that may be construed as segregating, ostracizing and embarrassing traditional leaders from certain regions of the country.

He has reminded that Presidents come and go but traditional leaders will always be there.

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