Former Foreign Affairs Minister in the MMD Regime Kelly Walubita has urged Government to preserve the AU Monument in Lusaka and turn it into a tourist site.
Dr Walubita says there is need to maintain and preserve the historical site which is now in a deplorable state.
The former Foreign Affairs Minister said the construction of the AU monument by the MMD administration over 20 years ago was intended to signify African Unity following the transformation of the OAU into AU in 2001.
“The Zambian government put up a statute by Addis Ababa roundabout. It was put as a symbol of our participation in the transformation of the OAU into now a solid institutional organization of the African Union” explained Dr Walubita.
Dr Walubita said the 2022 AU summit will be historic and there is need to maintain and preserve the AU monument and ensure that the over 800 visiting AU dignitaries visit the monument to appreciate the significance of the last OAU summit held in Lusaka in 2001.
“I would even encourage delegates that they should even find time to visit this statue because this is the symbol of the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity into the African Union” said Dr Walubita.
The former minister appealed to President Hichilema to ensure that there is high level cabinet support to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to ensure that the 2022 summit is successfully hosted.
“I have all the faith in my government of President Hakainde Hichilema and Minister Stanley Kakubo that they will take this summit as a rare historic event. Every country in Africa wants to host the African Union summit, every country in Africa wants to host the meetings of ministers of various sectors, so it is one of the biggest honours our new government is being bestowed on to host the summit of the African Union and I have no reservations, it will be handled professionally” said Dr Walubita.
Zambia is scheduled to host the 41st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union and the 4th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECS) from July 14 to 17, in Lusaka.
About 13 Heads of State and over 800 delegates are expected to attend the AU mid-year summit in Lusaka, Zambia.
Zambia hosted the last OAU summit in July, 2001 which saw the continental body transition into the AU to meet the contemporary needs and aspirations of the continent.