By Given Mutinta
The transcendence of President Michael Sata into power has made the word ‘tribe’ acquire a negative connotation meaning inward-thinking and viewing. One’s tribe in Zambia has become the most significant identity to the detriment of our nationality.
For Zambia to be, all tribes are necessary because that is what makes us a diverse country. We have venerable mosaic that as country we should tap into for the good of our society. Regrettably, President Sata’s tribal approach to leadership has put a stiletto on what was holding us together as a nation and we are surely falling apart. Today, our country is more divided than at any time in the past. The tribal rivalry the President has invigorated will always haunt him. He has sped up significantly the notion that as different tribes we cannot work together for a common cause and destiny. Thus, it will no longer be easy for people to freely work together towards a shared common purpose. President Sata’s tactless manner of conducting national duties has made our country’s common purpose and shared destiny seriously misplaced.
As a nation, we no longer have the big and spotless picture we always cherished. Former and first republican President, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda (KK) worked conscientiously to strengthen tribal links for us to attain a One-Zambia-One-Nation. It is this legacy that brought us this far as a peaceful nation.
KK, Super Ken may be depressing that the incumbent President has taken a tribal approach to leadership. As a result, President Sata’s worst political nightmare is to credibly define, project and sell a common purpose for all Zambians. If the President does not change his political course, Zambia will no longer be one nation and survive as one. Thus, it would be foolish for any person to underrate the current tribal rubbing in our country.
We will not have harmony in Zambia as long as there is no understanding of a common destiny as a nation. The most hideous blunder the sitting government has made is to reduce our common destiny to regionalism. Our country needs a President who will unite all the people and make them believe in a common purpose that should involve seeking for the common well-being, equity and justice for all.
Regrettably, President Sata does not embody the needed national symbol for unity. He is exceedingly compromised to make people stand together as one nation with different tribes not the other way round. We cannot work together towards a shared, successful future and toil collectively if development and statecraftship are viewed through tribal lenses. The existing political situation if not carefully assessed is a sure end to our identity as One-Zambia-One-Nation.
Time is now for us to stand together regardless of our tribes to denigrate tribal-ridden political tendencies. Our politics should be predicated on national interest and found on the tenet of common good and collective destiny.
It is our duty to deprecate regionalism, egotism and tribal interests at every possible opportunity. We have a moral mandate to stand tenaciously against nepotism and corruption because they contradict our aspiration for a common good and weaken merit and misallocate national resources.