Wednesday morning the nation woke up to a screaming banner headline in one of the daily tabloids that boldly declared “UPND A REGIONAL PARTY.”
In the accompanying article, they quote MMD leader Dr. Nevers Mumba as having observed that the absence of UPND at most northern region traditional ceremonies categorises them as a regional party. The paper further reports that Mutomboko organizing committee chairman a Mr. Misheck Kaoma equally complained that UPND leaders have not attended the ceremony for over 3 years despite the many invitations extended to them.
I have a lot of respect for Dr. Mumba but I think he has gone too far on this one. Surely, can failure by UPND to attend certain traditional ceremonies warranty them to be labeled “regional”? Was Dr. Mumba quoted accurately in the said article?
I’ll give him the benefit of doubt for now and focus on the media because I feel they’ve a very big role to play in the development of our beloved nation.
Wikipedia defines the media as follows: “The role of media in our society is to bring awareness to our society. The media wields great power but it should be noted, with great power comes great responsibility. The media is a very important instrument of change provided it behaves in a responsible and objective manner.”
If you apply this definition to our own context, certain media houses have abused and continue to abuse their roles with impunity! Instead of presenting facts as they should in both historical and present situations, the media in Zambia is notorious for concocting and twisting things in an attempt to sway the mood of the people with the sole purpose of psyching them to start perceiving things in their desired perspective. For instance, what can one make of a publication that always jumps at every opportunity to attach the “tribal tag” to UPND so that it may stick and therefore limit their chances of forming government?
Is it really a crime for any given political party to skip certain traditional ceremonies in the northern regions? If this may be the case I have very important questions to ask; if my history serves me right, PF was in opposition for over a decade, during that period how many times did senior PF leaders attend the Kuomboka ceremony in Western province or indeed the Likumbi lya mize in N/western province? Mind you these are in fact very significant ceremonies that have even earned reputation as national heritage status. Secondly, PF has been in power for 3, how many times has the President been to the mentioned ceremonies apart from maybe attending the Kuomboka once?
I would like to end by urging the media to stop flaring up tribal tensions in the nation as this may plunge us into turmoil.
Prince Bill M. Kaping’a
Lunda Royal establishment