Republic of Zambia
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services
STATEMENT BY HON. FACKSON SHAMENDA, ACTING MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES AND CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON ON ACCUSATIONS BY OPPOSITION UPND LEADER MR HAKAINDE HICHILEMA THAT GOVERNMENT WANTS TO IMPOSE ONE LOCAL LANGUAGE
Government’s ongoing successes to develop the country are causing opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema sleepless nights, hence his baseless outburts against the Government even on non issues.
He is frustrated at the fact that the Patriotic Front Government under the able and visionary leadership of His Excellency President Michael Chilufya Sata, has surpassed his expectations and relegated his prophecies of doom to the dustbin of history.
Mr Hichilema’s hallucinations that Government wants to impose one local language on Zambia, as reported in today’s Post newspaper, is not only cheap and shameful, but also typical of his tribal and regional character.
All well meaning Zambians should dismiss this kind of thinking. Zambians are one people and reasonable enough not to take such day dreaming seriously.
Only political upstarts and failures like Mr Hichilema would engage in this type of politics which has no place in modern day democratic dispensation.
Zambians cherish peace and unity in diversity. They have no time for leaders who want to drag them to stone-age politics of tribe and regional segregation.
Zambia is a model and envy of the world with regard to democracy, peace and unity. The country has 73 tribes all of which have, and continue to live peacefully side by side since time immemorial.
We have had peaceful elections and transitions from one Government to another since independence.
It is therefore, highly irresponsible for Mr Hichilema to seek to dent these impeccable credentials by championing regional politics for selfish gain.
While english is the official language for government business and commerce, local languages have been an integral and examinable part of Zambia’s educational curriculum both before and after independence. There is nothing wrong for Government to reintroduce the local language s in Zambian schools.
There is therefore, nothing new or retrogressive in the Government’s decision to introduce local languages as a medium of instruction in Zambian schools from the first to the fourth grade.
Rather than oppose the reintroduction of local languages in Zambian schools, stakeholders are urged to suggest progressive ideas to make this initiative work for the good of our country. Resisting change for the sake of it is retrogressive.
A country which does not take pride in its indigenous languages is in danger of losing a vital part of its God-given heritage and identity.
In this regard, Government has a duty to preserve our various languages and use them as a tool for fostering unity and development.
Fackson Shamenda, MP
ACTING MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES AND CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON
24th January, 2014