Zambia : Distinguishing the Tribe From the Tribalist: Every Tribe is Good But Every Tribalist is Bad

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By Sunday Chilufya Chanda

Today we welcome Comrade Hon Ephraim Kaang’andu Belemu, United Party for National Development (UPND) MP for Mbabala Constituency. Last week we welcomed Comrade Hon Charles Kakoma, immediate past Spokesperson for the United Party for National Development (UPND). These are nationalists who have refused to drink from the bitter cup of tribalism. More nationalists are on their way out because enough is enough!

The Patriotic Front is against all forms of tribal discrimination, and we shall fight tribalism by exposing it; but that does not mean we practice it.
In the words of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu:

“Zambia is a great nation with a great destiny. This can only happen when we learn to celebrate our diversity as a people – 73 tribes, One Zambia, One Nation!”

Over the years, months, weeks, and days, credible men and women have resigned from the Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) citing tribalism.
Patriotic Front has no time or space for tribal talk or tribal elements. We leave that to those whose associations and political grouping was established for that purpose.
Our focus as President Lungu appropriately put it:

“My Government’s preoccupation is to develop Zambia. I believe that our generation is that generation of Zambians that shall refuse to shrink in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, the same way that today’s industrialized countries refused to shrink when they faced their own development challenges.”

While the Patriotic Front is pre-occupied with developing the country, there are others that are preoccupied with entering State House even if it is by tribal or underhand means.

Since 2006 when Zambia’s main opposition party was formed, there has been a marked emergence of negative ethnicity manifested in vote discrimination and voting imbalance.
While the opposition has from time to time won a few seats in ruling party strongholds, no political party or candidate has ever won any election whether at Ward, Constituency level or any Presidential Vote in the opposition leaders region. The voting patterns in the opposition leaders region have without exception, predictably been focused along tribal lines and ethnic allegiances.

It is incriminating on the part of the UPND that while it campaigns and seek votes in ruling Party strongholds and sometimes win, they have never been questioned why they do not campaign in their opposition leaders region and yet they have always won in this area. This imbalance and vote discrimination has to be interrogated it is blatant tribal sectarianism.

They talk of One Zambia one nation in public and in the media but them walk the walk of tribalism and talk the talk of ethnic loyalty in their strongholds. What also needs to be interrogated is why there is significantly more violence and bloodshed in during elections in opposition strongholds than there is in Ruling party strongholds.

What has emerged over the years in the UPND stronghold opposition leaders region is beyond political violence… it is sponsored Militant Tribalism.
It is Tribalism and Sectarianism fuelled by the patronization and personalisation of the main opposition by its current leader who manipulated his party’s constitution to gift him an unlimited tenure.

Is it a coincidence that since 2006 tribalism and regionalism has seriously threatened the continuation of a harmonious and fraternal Zambian society? Through the divisive negative influence of tribalism, some selfish power seeking opportunists have of late intensified their mission under their political banner of tribalism and regionalism, to stir up confusion, division and chaos, to satisfy their own personal, selfish and petty secondary interests. Whilst Zambians have remained like one family unit despite their diverse backgrounds, the UPND under Mr. Hakainde Hichilema is pushing an aggressive Tribal agenda disguised to appeal to a certain ethnic grouping. The UPND is now starting to eat its own children!

The UPND leader is determined to make an entire tribe look Tribal. We must isolate the tribalist from the tribe. This Tribalist should not taint the historical good image of the people of Southern Province and the legacy of a great people. We call on Zambians to reject politicians who seek to rise on a tribal platform. We are not like Mr Hakainde Hichilema and UPND. He pursues tribal interests aimed at consolidating his political backing. Patriotic Front on the other hand espouses social equality, and rejects tribalism and all forms of racial and or ethnic discrimination.

Every tribe is good and every tribe is equal. The tribalist should stop hiding behind tribe. His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the Patriotic Front are resolved to infuse and fortify a true sense of nationalism that transcended the country’s natural ethnic divisions.

We therefore call upon all Zambians to focus on working in harmony regardless of one’s political or tribal inclination. We must all contribute positively, in any way we can, in order to ensure that tribal harmony and peace and tranquillity continues. Our nation remains the envy of many nations. Let us not take advantage of the peaceful privilege Zambia enjoys.

God bless Zambia
Let brotherly and Sisterly Love Continue.

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