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 2009-09-14 06:26 pm Back to NEWS
Leaders shouldn’t pursue predecessors – Chiluba

Former president Frederick Chiluba has said leaders should not pursue their predecessors but should thank them even if they discover some weaknesses in their leadership

Addressing mourners at Chingola Road Cemetery on Thursday during the burial of Lemmy Chipili, a former Consul General to Lubumbashi during his reign, Chiluba said development took place without the leaders targeting those who ruled before them.

"Mailo twaleshika kanabesa intungulushi imbi ba Tetamashimba, ababombele muli cino calo bwino bwino ukuchinkula abantu ukwisula imitwe ifya kutila tuleya kuntanshi. Lelo twashika Consul General Chipili uwabombele mubuteko bwandi. Pafuma aba paisa aba, tekweba lilya waisapo ati 'abalipo bonse, ni driver nshi achilaensha iyi motoka? Mwikateni. Napwisha oilo'. Oilo iyakubikamo fye muleya! 'Mwikateni tachilaensha bwino iyoo. Mwikateni naba conductor bakwe bonse'. Tefyaba ama politics. Ama politics yaba ukutila ulya wafumapo, 'mwabombeni boi mwabombeni naine pano nomba nala twala uku'.

[Translated - yesterday [Wednesday] we were burying another leader [late local government minister Benny] Tetamashimba who worked very well in enlightening people for us to move forward. Today [Thursday] we have buried Consul General Chipili who served in my government. If someone leaves today another takes over. It does not mean that when you take over then you say 'those of you who are here, who was driving this vehicle? Arrest him. He has finished the oil'. Oil which you can just replace and move on? 'Arrest him for not driving properly. Arrest all his conductors as well'. That is not how politics are conducted. In politics, when one leaves, you have to congratulate them 'well done my friend, well done'. I am heading this way.'] That is how development takes place world-over," Chiluba said in Bemba. "Mulelanda kuli political scientist ninebo" [translated "you are dealing with a political scientist"].

Earlier, Chiluba's childhood friend, Hugo Mulenga a former boxer, asked him not to respond to the criticism against him in the press.

Mulenga advised Chiluba that once he kept quiet, all the criticism against him would fade.

In response, Chiluba said he had done a lot of good for some of the people who had deserted him when he was falsely accused.

"When I became president, like Mulenga said, it's not common when you naturally have a heart to forget where you come from," Chiluba said. "But among you I had sent you and I did good things for you. When I was falsely accused you were in the forefront and said that 'yes that is the way he is'. I know you so well, I have studied you even if you say in front of people 'Chiluba, Chiluba', I know you. But by the mercy of God, because it is God who reads the heart even if we appear clever, God reads the heart; it is God who is the redeemer. Even if they stood in multitudes and they falsely accuse you there is only one judge, the great God, that is why when you say that I should stop talking, it is my friends who was saying [*SIC] that I should stop talking, that is true there are many people who are saying that. But Jesus said 'go and tell that Jackal; go and tell that Jackal because what I know about him is a lot. When I open my mouth he will die'; that is why I am not talking."

Chiluba said Zambians needed to work together and live in harmony.

"Serving the nation is endless. One can do a little and another can do a little. Now I am just warning you because our country can drift into harmful ways. When you go home reflect on two things: why we go into politics. Here is what is known as vision and ambition. When you hear someone telling you that 'when I get to power I am going to arrest this one', that is not vision that is ambition. Vision is about 'when I come where there are no roads, I will build some', working for the nation, that is vision. Let's think about what will build Zambia not what will destroy," he said. "I have not come here for politics. My friend here when I saw that he was not working I called him 'come to State House and have tea with me'. He came and said 'what have you called me for' and I said 'what are your plans' and he said 'things are difficult'. I said 'would things be difficult when I am here'? I said 'go to Lubumbashi and stay'. He was working and 'my children' were eating. That is why it is important not to forget where we are coming from and where we are going. When we forget our past we will not know our future."

Chiluba urged Zambians to work together in harmony irrespective of their origins and their political persuasions.

"Zambia is a beautiful country. If we are not insulting each other, we are not smashing each other's windows, we'll be advancing. It was easy back then to smash windows during the federation because those were not our houses; they used to belong to the whites. Now can you smash windows for someone's house and that one comes and smashes yours? Where will you get the money to repair the window? Let's live in peace. Development is not about moving five steps backward and five steps forward, no. Then we are stagnating or regressing, we are supposed to be moving forward every such moment. May our political parties continue to enlighten our people, not engaging in physical fights..." said Chiluba.

Chipili died on Monday this week and is survived by four children and seven grandchildren.

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