TETE A TETE: President Museveni holds talks with his Zambian counterpart Edgar Lungu at State House , Lusaka.

President Yoweri Museveni has saluted the former Zambian president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda for spearheading the struggle to fight for the liberation and independence of the Africa block alongside other past leaders in Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique.

President Museveni, who was chief guest at celebrations to mark Zambia’s 52nd Independence anniversary, was last evening speaking to the local media in Lusaka, Zambia before he was hosted to a state dinner by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. The two leaders later held bilateral talks at State House in Lusaka.

“I congratulate President Edgar Lungu for winning the election. I salute the people of Zambia. I salute Kenneth Kaunda. For us, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda is hero in Uganda. He fought for African freedom. You people should know that the prevailing freedom you have is as a result of the fight and struggle by the past African leaders like Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda and what the apartheid fighters in South Africa went through,” Mr. Museveni said.

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He urged the Zambians to follow the example of the heritage of the past leaders like Kenneth Kaunda and the current ones like Edgar Lungu. Dr. Kaunda, now aged 92, fought for Zambia to attain its independence in 1964.

“Don’t rubbish what was ahead of you. I am here to witness the past development in 1970s when you were two million people and today when the population Zambia stands at 15 million people with the existing general infrastructure and agricultural development that has turned the former vast open land into development,” said Mr. Museveni.

He added that he was happy to be invited by President Lungu to witness the 52th independence anniversary celebrations. “I thank God for a long life; to see a young baby borne. I am happy to be at home,” he said.

President Museveni assured his counterpart that they will discuss more on economic and other bilateral issues between the two countries, saying that Zambia has a big potential of land, a natural resource that is underexploited.

He urged the opposition leaders in the country to stop trouble and contribute towards the development of the country.

“To disturb means to cause ruin. If you are not in politics, you can be in agriculture. Politics is not the end of the world,” President Museveni said.

While speaking at dinner, the people of Zambia applauded Mr. Museveni for his comment that when he is in Zambia he comes to renew his cultural contacts.

On his part President Lungu thanked President Museveni for honoring the invitation.

Present at dinner was the former Zambian President Rupia Banda, the Vice President Inonge Wina, the Ugandan Minister of State for International Affairs Okello Oryem, Uganda Ambassador to Zambia based in Dar es Salaam Dorothy Hyuha, Annet Nyakecho the MP for Tororo county North and Peter Ogwang the MP Usuku County among others.

RESPECT: President Museveni pays respect to the fallen Zambian leadders
RESPECT: President Museveni pays respect to the fallen Zambian leaders

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Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni has today paid his respects to Zambia’s former Presidents: Michael Sata, Levi Mwanawasa and Fredrick Titus Jacob Chiluba at the Presidential burial site.