Friday, October 25, 2013

Kaunda counsels against tribalism
By Abel Mboozi
Wed 02 Oct. 2013, 14:00 CAT

IT makes me angry indeed when I hear leaders talking about tribe in Zambia, says Dr Kenneth Kaunda. Asked to give counsel on the issue of tribalism being discussed by some senior PF members, Dr Kaunda said it was not right that in 2013 issues of tribe should resurface.

"It is not right that in 2013, after we have come all the way building ourselves into one nation, some people somewhere in a dirty corner keep shouting about tribeā€¦ why? To achieve what? They want to get power through tribe?" Dr Kaunda asked.

Dr Kaunda said the talk of tribalism must stop immediately, stressing that such had no place in Zambia.

He said Zambia had been held together for a long time through the philosophy he coined of 'One Zambia, One Nation' and that citizens should remain steadfast on upholding that achievement.

"The tribal talk should be stopped immediately and completely. The nation has held, and we have been building the nation together. It sends me angry indeed when I begin hearing leaders talking about tribe," he said.

Dr Kaunda said Zambia was founded on the biblical commandment which stresses the need to love one another regardless of creed, race and religion.

"Young people, go back to God's teachings. Love God your Creator with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength as He is the One who has made His image like you. His teaching is 'love your neighbour as you love yourself; do unto others as you would like them to do unto you'," he said

Dr Kaunda said the commandments, as espoused in the Bible, were amazing because where they have been followed, peace prevails.

"Amazing teaching, amazing commandment; where these commandments are followed, there is genuine peace. Where they are not followed, disaster. So in Zambia, we saw that there were so many tribes, many colours, and many faiths and if we didn't come together, all these would be destroyed," he said.

Dr Kaunda said fighting and killing each other would have been the order of the day in Zambia if he, as the founding father of the nation, did not champion the 'One Zambia, One Nation' philosophy.

"So we thought we had to come together through 'One Zambia, One Nation'; through the podium, we shouted 'One Zambia' and citizens would respond 'One Nation' to transcend across race, tribe and anything else," said Dr Kaunda.

And MMD national youth chairperson Moses Muteteka has called on political parties in Zambia to avoid championing tribalism.
Muteteka, who is also Chisamba MMD member of parliament, said PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba was forthright when he stated that a clique within the party was scheming to hound him out on the basis of tribe.

"In fact, Kabimba has vindicated the UPND, which has been called tribal for a long time and yet the same evil is rife in the ruling party," said Muteteka.

Recently, Kabimba, said there was a tribal clique in the ruling party behind the cadres pushing for his resignation.And The Post ran an editorial in which it advised PF to deal with Kabimba in a fair way. The editorial read: "Wynter himself is today saying that it is a clique of tribal elements that is financing party cadres calling for his removal. He may have every reason to feel this way if the rules of natural justice and the party processes for disciplinary measures against him are not being followed.

There is no discernible charge that anyone has brought against Wynter before the disciplinary organs of the party to defend himself against. And for this reason, Wynter feels discriminated against on the basis of tribe.

And the list of those who went for him, those who were attacking him in the last joint meeting of the Patriotic Front central committee and Cabinet are predominantly from one tribe and region. Of the 14 people who spoke at that meeting, only three -Jean Kapata, Elizabeth Phiri and Bridget Atanga - can be said to be non-Bemba speaking people. And the 11 people who went for Wynter were Nkandu Luo,Chishimba Kambwili, Alexander Chikwanda, Joseph Katema, Esther Banda (from Mporokoso), Samuel Mukupa, Alfridah Kasembe, Willy Nsanda, Benson Chali, Emmanuel Mpakata and Freedom Sikazwe. All these are Bemba-speaking people. And Wynter seems to believe that these are the people championing the campaign for his removal. Geoffrey Mwamba didn't speak at this meeting.

But his position on this issue is well known and that's probably why it was not necessary for him to speak at that meeting. And as for the three non-Bemba speaking people who spoke at that meeting, they don't seem to have many issues with Wynter. ElizabethPhiri's complaint against Wynter at that meeting was that he was the one responsible for her not being adopted as a parliamentary candidate. This is the only complaint she voiced against Wynter. Atanga spoke in very general terms and had no direct issue against Wynter. As for Kapata, it is believed that the issue she has against Wynter is that she thinks he is the one who brought in Sylvia Masebo to compete with her. Of course, the truth is that Sylvia was not brought in by Wynter but by Michael himself."

Later Chikwanda issued a statement and called for an immediate end to "careless talk" bordering on tribalism by senior government officials, because it had the potential to cause disunity in the country.

Chikwanda said the government was concerned with reports attributed to some senior government officials alleging that there was tribalism in the PF.

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