Wednesday, October 09, 2013

PF setting a bad example - Milupi
By Mwala Kalaluka
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

CHARLES Milupi says the succession wrangles in the ruling Patriotic Front will divide the country because some individuals hiding under the guise of endorsing President Michael Sata are fanning a tribal campaign.

And Milupi says the PF will have no problem continuing in power beyond 2016 as long as its leadership transforms the party into an all-inclusive organisation with a national character.

Milupi, the president of opposition Alliance for Democracy and Development, said in an interview from Mongu yesterday that those who desire a nation that is not factionalised on tribal lines will not stand idle and watch certain people within the PF who feel only their tribe should rule to divide the country based on tribal inclination.

Milupi described the current happenings in the PF as a premature succession struggle that would derail the government from delivering on its role to govern the country as the leadership will spend most of its tenure fighting each other.

"If you do it too early, the energies of those that you have selected to be in power are directed towards the power struggle rather than governance of the country. In every sphere whether it is political, economical, social, whether it is developmental, those begin to suffer," he said.

"Democracy is about various talents, harnessing the synergies of various people coming together to provide an agenda to govern the place."

Milupi, however, said Zambians must understand "the unfortunate PF power struggle" for what it really was.

"There are various wings and some of those wings are purely tribal…Certain tribes are claiming that, 'it is us only who are supposed to take over and the other side is not supposed to take over'," he said.

"They have come up with a strategy and that strategy is first of all to appear to be in support of the incumbent, knowing fully well that the time will come when either the incumbent will not want to continue or either the incumbent will be not well enough to continue and then lo and behold, those who were championing the continuation of the incumbent now take over. Then they will have destroyed all other competing structures and only their structure will remain standing."

Milupi warned that the danger with this approach was that the country could be factionalised on ethnic lines.

"Whether there are tribes that think they are so many and they are the majority or they are more than others, they cannot rule this country to the exclusion of others. You can't and others will not allow," he said.
"That is why the British came and ruled to the exclusion of others. The time came when everybody rose and demanded independence. What more with one tribe thinking that they can have the monopoly of all the senior positions and they can be succeeding each other."

Milupi said participation in the governance of the country was not the preserve of a particular region or tribe.

"Do they really think that Zambia and Zambians will allow that to happen?" he asked.

"If you exclude other tribes, other regions because you are special, in a way you are sowing the seeds for discontent. You are sowing the seeds for even a civil war, which is bound to happen sometime in the future because people were not created by God to be subservient to others."

Milupi advised the PF factions to understand that the Zambia that people want was an inclusive one.

"Leadership is not from one region, it is not from one tribe and so on and so forth. If we create those inclusive institutions, the party can continue in government. It is not a problem but that party must be an inclusive party. It must represent everybody's interest. But if people say, 'this one is from this area and they can only be replaced by somebody from this area', you are forcing other people to rise up and fight against that," he said.

"The whole essence of party political organisation is that you have cohesion. The moment that cohesion is disrupted you are no longer a political party. You must break up so that other formations can come up."

Milupi said the PF was setting a very bad precedent in the governance of the country and that their actions would have harsh consequences in future.

"The Zambian people will judge them for all these things. It has very harsh consequences, I can tell you, and to win the next elections, I think it will be extremely difficult because the Zambian people will say, 'these people can't work together why should we vote for them again?'" said Milupi.

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