DR FRED M’membe says Luvale, Lunda, Luchazi and Chokwe are one people with a common origin.
He says there is need to quickly find ways to end the embarrassing Luvale-Lunda conflict in Zambezi district in North-Western Province.
On Saturday, Lundas and Luvales fought during a delimitation meeting organised by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in Zambezi district. Luvales predominantly live on the western bank of the Zambezi River while the Lundas are on the eastern bank. The two tribes have often clashed.
In a press statement issued on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party, Dr M’membe, the leftist party’s 2021 presidential candidate, stated that the apparently intractable conflict between the Luvale and Lunda people in Zambezi was demoralising.
“We watched with great sadness and tears in our eyes a video circulating on social media of a Lunda-Luvale fight during the meeting for submissions for the delimitation of wards, polling stations and constituencies in Zambezi. Let’s quickly find ways to end this embarrassing Luvale-Lunda conflict in Zambezi. Beyond destabilising our families and communities, it tends to perpetuate the very conditions of misery and hate that contributed to it in the first place,” Dr M’membe stated.
“These – Luvale, Lunda, Luchazi and Chokwe – are one people with a common origin. They all came here in 1800 from southern Congo, just above our North-Western Province, in the Kolwezi area of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
He wondered where the animosity, hate and conflict between the two tribes came from.
Dr M’membe asked what purpose such ill-feeling served and who was benefiting from it.
“Why have our leaders – political, traditional, religious or otherwise – failed to resolve this conflict over the years? Conflict resolution should be easy. Conventional wisdom has it that conflict arises when people feel their respective interests or needs are incompatible,” he stated.
“Defusing a conflict, then, is tantamount to eliminating the perceived incompatibility and creating conditions that foster common goals and values.”
Dr M’membe added that a conflict that had become obstinate should be, especially, easy to resolve through such interventions.
“After all, a conflict with no end in sight serves the interests of very few people, drains both parties’ resources, wastes energy, and diminishes human capital in service of a futile endeavour,” Dr M’membe stated.
“Even a compromise solution that only partially addresses the salient needs and interests of the parties should be embraced when they realise that such a compromise represents a far better deal than pursuing a self-defeating pattern of behaviour that offers them nothing but aversive outcomes with a highly uncertain prospect of goal attainment.”
He stressed that conflict resolution was: “at times anything but easy.”
Dr M’membe stated that the immunity to rationality suggested that the problem of stubbornness said more about psychology than it did about objective reality.
“An intractable conflict is one that has become entrenched in cognitive, affective, and social-structural mechanisms, a transformation that effectively distances the conflict from the perceived incompatibilities that launched it,” stated Dr M’membe.