By Alfred A. K. Ndhlovu, Lusaka
I must start this article by paying glowing tribute to the late Mama Betty Banda Kaunda, wife of first Republican president, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, who died on September 19, 2012 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
I quote my late parents in this tribute:
“Mwanakazi ngayengaye obadwa kuti akalunguliwe ku mwamuna mmodzi; neo nibadwa kuti nikalunguliwe kwa ausuwanu basi. An ideal woman is born to be married to one man; I was born to be married to your father only.” Olipa Nsamwa Ngoma Ndhlovu [1922-2012].
“Mkazi wanga, anyina wanu, ni lamba; osunga zonse za ine pamodzi. Mwina ninamulakwira, koma iye sananilakwirepo ai. My wife, your mother, is a belt; she keeps in place all about me. I may have offended her, but certainly she has not offended me.” Agabu Ndhlovu [1914-2004]
Suffice to say that Lady Betty was born to be wife of Kenneth David Kaunda. She endured being a loyal wife, a dedicated mother and a First Lady of Zambia. This is a record which we have lost through the grace of God. May Her Soul Rest In Eternal Peace!
I am glad to discuss the problem of tribalism with everyone who will read this article. Let me, from the very beginning, also say that the problem of tribalism is simmering in Zambia today. Tribalism is not a new subject to anybody in this country. It is, in fact, older than Zambia which was born in 1964. The colonial administration identified 73 tribes which existed side by side earlier and in the 1940s up to the 1950s. Some of these tribes were peaceful to each other while others were, for strange reasons, antagonistic to each other. The tribal cousin-ships are an indication of the spirit of tolerance and staying together amicably and in friendships.
The first thing which wise people do in order to solve problems is to define the problem, analyze its ramifications and identify the solution(s). Additionally, there should also be wide understanding of the dire consequences of the problems otherwise solution(s) may bounce.
Mr. Austin Mbozi wrote a very interesting article on this topic which he posted on the Zambian Watch Dog online publication. I found the article constructive and objective vis-à-vis what is happening in Zambia since the Patriotic Front assumed power after the September 20, 2011 tripartite elections. It is not an understatement to say that the president, Mr. Michael Sata, is driven by feelings and convictions of tribalism in most of what he has done so far. Evidence of Mr. Sata’s tribalism is actually overwhelming. Complaints are a basis of the existence of a problem. Ignoring them is fertilizer for a revolt any time soon.
The buck of tribalism in Zambia stops at who is Republican president! Before 1964, the colonial government was responsible for everything to do with tribalism in Northern Rhodesia and the buck stopped at the Governor’s door step. From 1964-1991 it stopped on Dr. K. D. Kaunda’s door step. From 1991-2001 the tribal buck stopped at the footsteps of the late Dr. Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba. From 2002- 2008, the late Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC in the saddle influenced tribalism accordingly. From 2008-2011, the buck of tribalism stopped at the feet of Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda. RB proclaimed the slogan, “a president for all Zambians” which Mr. Sata’s PF found nauseating and went underground with the “don’t kubeba” doctrine which others have said means “do not tell them, we are a majority tribe”! Hon. Miles Sampa elucidated this phenomenon and backed it with personal statistics on the floor of Parliament. I have argued elsewhere in the past that an apology is evidence of wrongdoing which is why Hon. Sampa will remain a tribalist as long as his speech is on record.
Three now government daily newspapers, The Post, Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia, including the privately owned weekly New Vision and a monthly magazine, the Bulletin & Record, articulate tribalism and they have all influenced Mr. Sata to think that tribalism has paid him. This means that the Daily Nation, Weekly Guardian and a few others are the only alternative media houses available to others. This is sad in democratic Zambia.
I have been analyzing election results for a long time and I believe that Zambians do not vote on tribal lines. They always attempt to choose the best leaders and political party. The challenge is that president Sata must be sized up sooner rather than later. He must be told in no uncertain terms that Zambia is for all regardless of what tribe they belong to.
After reading Mr. Mbozi’s article, I reflected deeply on his concerns and responded by highlighting what are the general guidelines which our founding fathers followed to build this wonderful country as a democratic Republic. They significantly departed from the doctrine of “divide and rule” which was behind the classification of the Zambian people by the colonial administration into 73 tribes.
I must mention and argue here that those who claim tribal majority are in fact not better than colonialists who argued that Black people lived cheap, were backward, primitive and therefore unfit or ill-positioned to govern themselves, hence deserved to be colonized! Remember that colonialism is not only the White man’s pastime. It can also be done by anybody so long such people are selfish. In other words Black people can also colonize others.
Our founding fathers and mothers identified tribalism as a threat, menace and problem to national unity. They addressed it in unison but fell short of putting appropriate legislation to check posterity against indulging in the practice. Consequently, successors may have problems to address it effectively. I recap here below the salient features of what guided the Kaunda administration on the issue of tribalism in Zambia. I have summarized these points from what I have read and seen happening in Zambia since 1964:
- They sought to “detribalize the people, i.e. neutralize tribal feelings” so that people look at themselves as Zambians, first and foremost. This is the bedrock of nationalism. The Kaunda generation, in fact, regarded themselves as nationalist leaders. They were determined to build a nation instead of a tribal federation.
- Marriages change the outlook of societies anywhere in the world. Zambian nationalist leaders encouraged inter-tribal marriages so that the offspring could belong to neither tribes but Zambia. There is now a significant population which belongs to this category of the new society in Zambia.
- The variety of tribes in the country required a formula of unity. The inclusion of Barotseland as part of Northern Rhodesia and later to be part of the new nation of Zambia in 1964 precipitated the invocation of the spirit of One Zambia, One Nation; a motto which underpinned the Republic as a nation of equals before the laws and as human beings.
- A nation of equals never leaves anybody behind. Founding fathers, consequently, resolved to balance appointments in government, political parties, companies, clubs and all national institutions. This would make everyone feel belonging and besides earning a share of the national cake. Sharing jobs equitably has a consequence of distributing wealth to many, hence opportunity for investments. Compare Southern Province which does not have a resident Tonga, Ila or Toka Leya in Cabinet today! Somebody joked, “…no GRZ Pajero goes there at weekends!”
- Leadership is essential and this leadership must be drawn from across the country without exception. Schools, education, make leaders. This is why founding fathers agreed and resolved to encourage all tribal groups to accept leaders from all corners of the Republic on the bases of competence and merit. Such interaction at leadership levels builds the nation.
- According to the Book published by the Northern Rhodesia Government Printer in Lusaka in the 1950’s which classified the 73 tribes, the smallest tribe had 340 people. First and foremost, these were human beings who deserve the same treatment like anybody else. Founding fathers concluded and resolved that the number of people in a tribe should not be used to oppress such people. In fact, all tribes are equal as human beings first and Zambians second. It is incumbent upon this generation and posterity to ensure that no Zambian is marginalized on account of being from a minority tribe.
- At independence in 1964, there was neither Copperbelt nor Luapula Provinces. When Copperbelt, Luapula, Northwestern and Western Provinces were created to make provinces nine, it was agreed that provinces should have the same number or nearly so of wards and constituencies to facilitate equitable distribution of resources and even development of the country.
- The first identity of a tribe is language or dialect. The second is culture which is a combination of customs and practices. Zambian local dialects are very many but have not generated writers except music composers. It was agreed that because of inadequacies in our local languages such as Tonga, Lozi, Luvale, Kaonde, Lunda, Nyanja and Bemba, these languages cannot be used as official business and scientific languages. They have scant vocabulary, particularly, in the field of science and mathematics. As such, English was designated as the official language.
- Our founding fathers agreed and resolved that there will be no tribal domination in Zambia. This means that those who think that they are in a majority have no right to oppress or molest those they perceive to be minority.
- There have been calls, particularly, from Southern and Central Provinces that some chiefs should be “promoted” to various higher positions such as senior chief or paramount chief. Such calls are misplaced and lack merit. There is no provision in traditional hierarchy for such promotions or creations. Our founding fathers agreed and resolved that there will be no creation of new tribes, chiefs and paramount chiefs. The existing ones will remain so. The president only recognizes those that the tribes themselves choose to lead them. The concept of nationalism would rather wish that tribes melt into oblivion.
The next question I want to belabor is, “what are the people complaining about tribalism?” Zambians who complain about tribalism are most often those who want jobs, business contracts to supply or do some work to earn a decent living and victims of unfair treatment at work places. It may be common to see people given jobs which they do not even deserve. It is also common to see contracts being given to incompetent relatives’ or friends’ companies just to enable them make money at the expense of quality work. In other words favouritism and nepotism are the hallmarks of tribalism.
Jobs and contracts are advertised to blind people when friends and relatives have already been selected! Tenders, particularly of GRZ and associated institutions do not work normally in Zambia. The rule is what has become popularly known as “single sourcing” in which tribal gurus have overriding choices. The big tribal gurus are the Republican president and cabinet ministers. All others below are what I may call tribal lobbyists who push such matters for approval.
Single sourcing is not a bad practice per se. It is good if you push something for somebody who is not your tribesperson. I liken it to affirmative action in that case. It must also be done transparently. For single sourcing to succeed, leaders must be honest and have a broader picture of the nation, particularly focusing on weaker groups of the citizenry.
When I was in government, for example, I neither felt ashamed nor inhibited to prod my tribes-people from the East that they and Bembas in this country were in much more stronger positions than other folks around; they should, as a rule of thumb, give chance to others! I did this because I realized from the very beginning that I was a leader of all Zambians. There will be no government in Zambia which will have absolutely nobody from the East and North. I have no space here to give accurate and elaborate dynamics of what I mean.
The Post newspaper, for instance, had its entire staff establishment deployed into government and diplomatic jobs followed by a huge contract to print the draft constitution. This was besides the controversy of the K18 billion owed to the Development Bank of Zambia and unconventionally lent to the deceased Zambian Airways company which is owned by a Post newspaper owner and DPP.
How was the tender awarded to three daily newspapers to print the draft constitution at the expense of the privately owned Daily Nation which also needs business support from government? Is the Daily Nation an alien newspaper?
The Post newspaper undertook in 2011 not to criticize president Sata, a very strange journalistic undertaking to say the least. I call it tribalism. It was actually lobbying for favours as demonstrated by what happened at the newspaper. The Post looks at president Sata as a toy in that respect. The suspicion that the owner of the Post newspaper controls president Sata appears to be valid to that extent. I must warn my esteemed readers that Zambians voted for Mr. Michael Sata alone and not in partnership with anybody else. Therefore, nobody should assign himself illegal consultancy which can jeopardize overriding interests of Zambian people generally and voters in particular.
One day, my boss, the late president Dr. Frederick Chiluba, assigned me to give him three names of people who he could appoint as permanent secretaries. He advised me not to include a Bemba’s name because he already had such names! I laughed. Dr. Chiluba added that he preferred those who were head-teachers of grade one secondary schools or those from the private sector with wide administrative experience. I told Dr. Chiluba that I would give him the names in a matter of hours.
I took advantage of this occasion to explain to the president that the Civil Service had a lot of men and women who had served long enough for appointment to permanent secretaries. This, I argued, would raise and boost their morale. I also informed him that I had just directed the chairman of the service commission to approve all recommendations from my ministry which I was told had been delayed.
The interesting part of that dialogue was that Dr. Chiluba stated that he did not know the best people from the other provinces and he relied on others to give him suitable names. This made me conclude that Dr. Chiluba understood tribalism and much more he wanted to involve stakeholders in governance of the Republic of Zambia. This was very important for a president.
A friend of mine who was a cabinet minister during Dr. Chiluba’s first term of office complained that most cabinet ministers spoke Bemba even when they knew that other cabinet ministers did not understand the dialect. He argued that actually cabinet had been turned into a gossip venue for Bemba speakers! I told him that it was not tribalism to use any of the seven dialects of Zambia. It was just a tolerable nuisance because you may not follow what they are talking about. At cabinet level, ministers could not even be back-biting him. Well, I have, personally, not attended any cabinet meeting. What I know, generally, is that the duty of the chairman of a meeting is to advise members on decorum, time keeping, dress code and use of good and appropriate language. English, as it has already been stated, is our official language. It must be used in all official places to foster unity and understanding. Courts of law in Zambia are very good at enforcing these because of the nature of their jobs. We can learn from them.
I must stress to say that it is not tribalism to speak or hear music in languages that one does not know nor understand. One has the right to use, including teaching others, a language that one knows with those who also know or want to learn it.
Somalia in the Horn of Africa is experiencing the sequel of tribalism after the death of Gen. Siad Barre in 1990. It is now a failed state. It will take time to normalize the situation in Somalia. Gen. Barre did not have the gift of formal education. He was illiterate. He ascended the military ranks in the manner Idi Amin of Uganda did. After he took power, Gen. Barre ran the country on ethnic lines except that his ethnic group was the strongest and effectively controlled the others.
Gen. Barre did not have a plan to run the country beyond his life. He could not work out a modern succession formula. You may argue that the learned Mr. Robert G. Mugabe of Zimbabwe is in the same boat as a failure in succession president. To some extent, I agree. The people of Zimbabwe will decide one day!
Gen. Barre visited Zambia in the 1980’s as a guest of former president Kaunda. I regretted then that Somalia could have a president like him. Intellectual and learned Somalis have migrated into the diaspora which means that the country has a crisis of manpower. How do they move the country out of the quagmire? Why so many arms in private hands? The threat of assassinations is ever imminent. That is what tribalism can do. Zambia should not tread on that garden path.
Sudan’s problem was racism. The secession of Southern Sudan has partly resolved the problem. Darfur in the western side may go the same path to become Western Sudan.
Nigeria is embroiled in a war of tribalism between the Moslem North and Christian South. Northerners firmly believe that the South is all out to monopolize the Nigerian Republican presidency. There is the argument that former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, deliberately picked a sick Northerner, Y’Ardua, to succeed him just because he wanted the presidency to revert to the South after Y’Ardua’s death which was obviously on the way sooner rather later.
The Biafran war in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s also left scars of tribalism on the country. It is obvious that the Igbo tribe in the south-east also wants to participate in governance at president level. The bombings and other terrorist activities are all part of the strategy to destabilize the country in order to reform the system. Nigeria has no option but to agree on rotational presidency. Nigerian tribalism has cost thousands of innocent lives in terrorist activities. This is regrettable. Zambia should certainly not tread this garden path.
Dr. Julius Kambarage Nyerere of Tanzania was the first African president to work out a transition arrangement with the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba to rotate leadership with mainland Tanganyika. He neutralized tribalism on the islands by asking them to give him a name of who could succeed him in 1986. He was given the name of learned Mr. Ali Hassan Mwinyi. Dr. Nyerere campaigned for and with Mr. Mwinyi until the change was successful.
Dr. Nyerere knew that nobody beside him, as founding president of Tanganyika and the United Republic of Tanzania, would work out a succession formula. He did so with the grace of the people. It was his life time commitment to create a modern and enduring state. Africa earned pride in that action by such an African statesman. I have no doubt that other countries emulated that good example.
There are, of course, agitators for freedom of Zanzibar and Pemba today, but these will be dealt with by the leadership of the United Republic of Tanzania under the leadership of Chama ca Mapinduzi which Mr. Jakaya Mwisho Kikwete, an Islander, leads. Such dissent is tolerable in democracies.
Why did Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda not emulate his friend, Dr, Nyerere, on the Barotseland question? This is the readers’ food for thought.
Tribes cannot and will not melt away very easily and in a short term. They are there and here to stay. All that the leadership can do is to cope with them peacefully.
The formula of rotational leadership is feasible in Zambia. Dr. Kaunda’s wish to die in office was aborted in 1991 when democratic change overwhelmed Zambia. In any case, a democrat cannot die in office because that is reducing oneself to a dictator or monarch. Examples of Dr. Julius Nyerere [Tanzania], Mr. Nelson Mandela [Republic of South Africa], Sir Ketumire Masire [Botswana], Mr. Joackim Chisano [Mozambique], Mr. Festus Mogae [Botswana] and Dr. Sam Nujoma [Namibia] at least make Africa proud in a jungle of dictators.
Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, in SADC, have a way to go! What they have so far achieved is too little to go home with and talk about.
Zambia has only succeeded in holding regular elections since 1991. Its governance record is more a matter of self-praise than a real achievement. The 1996 elections were boycotted by the then biggest opposition political party, UNIP, because Dr. Kaunda was constitutionally barred to stand again as a presidential candidate. That marked the demise of UNIP.
The 2001 elections were petitioned and the second largest opposition political party, UPND, lost the petition. MMD’s presidential candidate, Mr. Levy P. Mwanawasa beat his rival, UPND’s Anderson K. Mazoka by 1%- 29% to 28%. Dr. Chiluba had won elections in 1991 and 1996 by over 50%.
In 2006, after Mr. Mazoka had died, Mr. Mwanawasa won his second term by 42%. Mr. Sata from the opposition PF won the 2011 elections by 43%. These results show voter apathy and disinterest. People register but do not go to vote. Why? The type of candidates standing for elections frustrates them.
An acquaintance surprised me when he asked me, “will the 2016 elections be a choice of who is the best Bemba?” I grinned and asked back, “why?” He replied courageously, “Mr. Sata, from Mpika; Dr. Mumba, from Chinsali and Mr. Chipimo, from Kasama. UPND and ADD have been designated as tribal parties, so where do we go, Atsogoleri?” I told him that Zambians do not vote on tribal lines. They want good leaders regardless of where such leaders come from. I emphasized to say that political leaders are most often than not selfish. That is where the problem is. We shall be lucky if the next president garners more than 25%! Suffice to say that tribalism is undermining the confidence of voters.
Angola has not had successful democratic change except when founding president, Dr. Augustino Neto, died in office in 1979 when Mr. Edwardo Dos Santos took over. Additionally, opposition political institutions are very weak. Civil war completely distorted democracy in that oil-rich country.
Malawi’s situation is unpredictable in that the founding dictator died without leaving behind a credible succession plan. Both successors to Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Mr. Bakili Muluzi and Prof. Bingu Wa Mutharika, did not design a feasible transition process. This is why the third president succeeded Prof. Mutharika by chance. Political institutions are very weak in Malawi.
The mountain kingdom state of Lesotho is galloping in the dark as it searches for a road to democracy blended with monarchy.
Zimbabwe is actually a ghost story of democracy! President Mugabe is destined to die in office. There appears to be no heir apparent in that country. The country may face instability after Mr. Mugabe dies! This is all because of tribalism.
I have given these foreign examples to implore Zambians to learn from what is happening in other countries in order for them to summon courage to resolve their own tribalism in the country.
The government which Mr. Michael Sata formed after the September 20, 2011 tripartite elections leaves much to be desired. Even those that he nominated (8) to Parliament are predominantly his tribesmen and women including friends! He had even over-nominated by one, Mr. Willie Nsanda who later voluntarily opted to step down.
Many Zambians have called Mr. Sata’s government a family jungle (forest) instead of a tree. A petty justification that Mr. Sata and some of his tribes-people have given is that it was Bembas who were voted into Parliament. This argument is very weak and much more so myopic. The reason why a Zambian president is constitutionally allowed to nominate 8 more MP’s in addition to those elected is to provide a balance in tribal terms. It is similar to affirmative action.
I had expected that, perhaps, Mr. Sata would have nominated two from Southern, Western, Northwestern Provinces and one each from two non-governmental organizations. Clearly, Mr. Sata appears to think that he alone knows Zambia and that he can run the affairs of this country alone. This must be challenged by any civil means at the disposal of the Zambian people. If civil methods fail, violence is allowed.
There is a very misleading belief amongst some of our Bemba compatriots that the freedom of this country is owed to them alone! In fact, they believe that late Mr. Simon Kapwepwe is their hero above Dr. Kaunda who they categorize as a foreigner. No shame can be less or more than this, I must say!
The history of Zambia, however, does not support them except that there is a clique that has been sponsored to distort the truth. Somebody lied in one of the daily newspapers that it was Mr. Simon Kapwepwe who named this country as Zambia. This is both untrue and malicious to the name of late Mr. Simon Kapwepwe himself as a bona fide freedom fighter. I doubt whether it was the late freedom fighter that went round to his tribes-people to tell them that he, personally, named this country! If that was the case, I cannot call him a good leader.
Mr. Simon Kapwepwe’s contribution did not go beyond what late Mr. Munukayumbwa Sipalo (petrol-bombed), Mr. Nalumino Mundia (hunger strikes), Mr. Omello Mumba (murdered) and others made during the struggle for independence. Mr. Alexander Gray Zulu, for instance, lost his pregnant wife after he was arrested at night in Kabwe. Dr. Peter Matoka was transferred unjustifiably and roughly from Katete after his colonial bosses heard that he had accommodated Kenneth Kaunda at his house.
It was not only these leaders who suffered. Followers also suffered throughout the length and breadth of Northern Rhodesia.
Many Black business people also sacrificed financially. They supported political parties during the struggle because they knew that freedom lay ahead. The Asian and mixed races communities were on the side of freedom fighters. People like Mr. Reuben Chitandika Kamanga, Mr. Hyden Dingiswayo Banda, Mr. Justin Chimba, Mr. Elijah Mudenda and many more especially Mr. Mathias Mainza Chona were not just appointed to the first cabinet to appease anybody. They were proper and real freedom fighters who knew and understood what the people of this country as a whole wanted. Mr. Speedwell who later became known as Kapasa Makasa was a very notable freedom fighter in the then Northern Province which included the now Luapula Province.
Mr. Chona left his law practice in order to concentrate on the struggle for independence. It was Mr. Chona who put together the United National Independence Party after he convinced fellow politicians that a fragmented front did not stand any chance to dislodge the colonial regime soon. It was Mr. Chona who designated then Mr. Kenneth Kaunda to lead UNIP. That was a remarkable contribution which is rare in Zambia more than 55 years later!
Mr. Elijah Hatukali Kaiba Mudenda wrote a book entitled, “The Generation of the Struggle” which is an epitome of what these gallant Zambians achieved as a team. I suggest that book sellers should arrange that the book is reprinted for sale in Zambia. It was first published in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Scott, Dr. Guy Scott’s father, was not a freedom fighter. He run a printing company which published a newspaper, amongst other business activities, for Black people called the Central African Mail when the Northern News was for White people. These newspapers were forerunners to the Zambia Daily Mail and the Times of Zambia respectively. It is wrong to credit such a businessman with the struggle for our independence. Any White fellow who associated with what colonialists called Black extremists was molested or deported!-refer to Mr. Simon Zukas. Dr. Guy Scott’s father died in Northern Rhodesia whereas the mother died much later in Scotland where she was buried in 30 minutes by the son (refer to Dr. Guy Scott in dialogue with former British prime minister, Sir John Major, in Livingston, 2012). Dr. Guy Scott was born here and chose to be Zambian even when his parents were not Zambians. There is no former colony where the British have pulled out completely. That is the secret of colonialism.
There is a tendency amongst some Zambians to fault others and justify same types of errors that their tribes-people commit. The contrast between the Rupiah Banda presidency and that of Michael Sata has volumes of this type of hypocrisy which some people will hardly tolerate just to make Sata succeed where his predecessors failed. It is on record that RB was sued as a Malawian national imposing himself on the Zambian people. The courts of law have records to that effect.
Mr. Sata is also said to be a son of migrant parents who settled in Mpika at the same time Mr. Kaweche Banda from Chipata settled there to do business. Old Sata did not have a village in Mpika. The argument goes further to justify that Mr. Sata’s father died in Lusaka recently and was buried at Leopard’s Hill Cemetery and not his original village at Mpika. Would it be wrong to petition president Sata using the same arguments like those used against RB who buried his parents where he has a farm at Chipata? What is good for the goose is certainly also good for the gander.
Certainly, Mr. Sata in the presidency should not be treated with kid gloves. He is a monster in that position wielding immense executive powers. He can do or undo according to what pleases him. Therefore, he must be kept in constant check.
Mr. Richard Kapita, vice president of UPND, urged Tongas in Southern Province to continue voting for the UPND. He was roundly blamed as peddling tribalism by Archbishop Teresphore Mpundu of Lusaka and some Catholic priests. I have already stated above that the buck of tribalism stops at the president and his cabinet ministers. In other words, those who wield executive powers are the ones to blame for any tendency to tribalism. Mr. Kapita is just a complainant like any other fellow out of government. He has never been in government to be assessed as to whether he is tribally inclined. Please, for heaven’s sake, leave him alone!
The results of the September 20, 2011 tripartite elections show that Mr. Sata got more votes in Southern Province than Mr. Hakainde Hichilema got in Northern Province. Why was this so? Which group is empirically more tribalist between the two provinces? Why should Mr. Kapita fold his arms or keep quiet in the face of such scientifically compiled evidence?
Many people complain about Mr. Sata’s tribalism because he is in the saddle. Mr. Sata condemned the on-the-job training when he was in the opposition and this is why he should not be spared, but treated like other former presidents have been treated. Why has he not commented on tribalism since he took office on September 23, 2012? What is his personal view on his tribal government, diplomatic service, and quasi-government institutions?
Was Hon. Miles Sampa’s statement to Parliament official PF policy on tribalism? Hon. Sampa is on record to have suggested that Tonga men should marry Bemba women. I warn Bemba women that Tonga bulls wear double condoms! What are the Archbishop Teresphore Mpundu’s and Catholic priests’ comments about these facts? The Catholic Church is also embroiled in traces of tribalism which supposedly have been created by the Archbishop. He is reported to have agreed to have a priest in Lundazi deported! This is a shame to an Archbishop who condoned several White Catholic Bishops and priests who ceaselessly criticized the MMD government.
Zambians should not be told to go to sleep on Mr. Sata’s tribalism. Zambians must be vigilant all the time because whoever takes the reigns of power is not weak. Even a buffoon in power is strong. Germany of the 1930’s elected Adolf Hitler, a buffoon, who led that beautiful country to prosperity and the doom of the Second World War. That is what executive powers of the State can do. I am mindful of the fact that PF and its Zealots will also leave office. They have already started doing so one by one.
My conclusion is that tribalism can destroy Zambia especially when it is tolerated at president level. Zambians should not be tongue-forked to blame petty tribalism of Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and Mr. Richard Kapaita when grand tribalism of His Excellency Michael Sata is justified and condoned. That is unacceptable. The same standards must be applied.