President Michael Sata should learn from Dr Kenneth Kaunda on how he handled Zambia’s 72 tribes in a very balanced way throughout his reign, says Charles Milupi.
Milupi, who is opposition Alliance for Democracy and Development president, said there was need for President Sata to recognise all the tribes and treat them as one family.
“We are not seeing that happen and it is causing people to complain and this will create problems. The President relates very well with Kenneth Kaunda, he has used him as an emissary to China and Angola.Let him learn from him they way he was able to handle the 72 tribes in a very balanced way throughout his reign. He may have failed on other areas of governance but certainly not on recognising all tribes and treating them as one family,” he said.
Milupi said the chiefs from North Western Province had a right to complain about the lack of development in the area.
“If you look at the appointments that have been made in Zambia, if you look at how resources have been shared, President Sata is the last person who should talk about tribe. He has been accused of being tribe-inclined himself and with all the evidence, you look at the make up of Cabinet, the people going into diplomatic services, you look at permanent secretaries, look at some of the actions he has taken. People of Zambia are watching and where there are such tribal inclinations, they are seeing them,” he said.
Milupi advised President Sata against running government as though the country had just come out of war and therefore he could do whatever he wanted with the people.
“This was a democratic election, others can vote for you, others cannot – but they are all people. Whoever comes out victorious, now becomes the father of the whole nation and the issues that were talked about during the campaigns, whether it is this one will bring war, that is part of campaigning,” Milupi said.
He said there was no single tribe or region in the country which had people who had no brains.
“There is not a single tribe or region in Zambia which has no brain.
We all have brains so when you have positions of leadership which excludes some people from certain regions, they have every right to complain. I think the key issue is to run this country recognising that it is one nation, recognising that resources are for all. Chiefs have people that live under them, so if they reflect what people feel and want, the chiefs are also leaders,” he said.
Milupi said the best way that President Sata could have handled the issue of chiefs from North Western Province was to discuss with them one on one or send a representative.
“Problems start when you share resources unevenly, when you share government influence unevenly which is what the case is and when you do irrational things. Chiefs are like our parents wherever we live, it is always advisable when you have issues with chiefs, to discuss with them one on one or send representatives. You do not start talking in the press, ordering chiefs and so on, it shows lack of orderliness and it does not build a nation,” said Milupi.
Speaking after he swore in two more people on the constitution technical committee at State House yesterday, President Sata said tribalism could not bring development into the nation.
This was in reaction to observations made by chiefs in the area that they were being excluded from key development issues in the country.
“Tribe is not a criterion, is not a qualification for employment. I’ve got people like Mr. Mulasikwanda in Western-Province, and I’ve got the chiefs in North-Western Province. Those chiefs in North Western Province during the campaigns they were lying to people that Sata will bring war. Then again they came to lie; no, no, no Sata is going to take you to Angola. And now today they say they want to remove everybody who is in North-Western Province and employ their own relatives,” President Sata said.
“If the Solis stood up and said we don’t want Mihova the commander of the army, we don’t want Kanganja Secretary to the Cabinet, we don’t want that permanent secretary in youth and sport; my own personal secretary is from North-Western Province, where is this country going to go? But I want to warn Mr. Mulasikwanda of that fake Barotse government and these chiefs in North-Western Province, the law will protect the people of Zambia. And we are not going to be divided on tribal lines. The right brains will protect the people of Zambia. And we are not going to use tribe. You can use tribe in your own house but you don’t use tribe when you come to national level.”
PUBLISHED BY THE POST NEWSPAPER