JACK Kalala says the Republican presidency is not a tribal or regional position but a national one.
Kalala has observed that since forming government in 2011, the PF leadership has proved to be notoriously and delinquently divisive.
Speaking when he addressed party officials in Chipata on October 31, PF secretary general Davies Mwila urged the party to ignore sentiments by chief Mukuni that President Edgar Lungu had opted out of the 2021 race, as reported by The Mast.
“As a party, we value your contribution to the party but I have always said that the President’s support should start from here because this is where he comes from and I am not trying to be tribal; I am just trying to be factual,” Mwila said.
“This is the constituency of the President; the support must start from here, then it goes to Luapula, Muchinga, Northern, Copperbelt and Lusaka. So it is up to you colleagues to start or continue mobilising the party. The strength of the party lies in the branches and the section. We made a decision as central committee to run with President Edgar Lungu as candidate for 2021. That is the decision that we have made and there is no change to that. So what you are hearing from the social media, chief Mukuni, let him mind his own business. Let him talk about their candidate in UPND.”
Mwila told Mukuni to leave the PF alone.
“We have already decided, please chief Mukuni, leave us alone! This is our party, you belong to UPND. So forget about what Mukuni said. Let him just continue looking after his people in Kazungula. The job ahead of us is too big; we have to retain the President in State House at all costs,” said Mwila.
“So our job as officials, let’s start taking our children before 2021 to get NRCs so that we prepare our children for them to come and register for 2021 election. This is very important, we have to register people above one million this time. We were around 778,000, and we have to be above one million. We have to be at par with Southern Province in terms of registration, in terms of voting, so the job is with you.”
In a press statement, Kalala, a former side of late president Levy Mwanawasa, wondered why Mwila only mentioned Eastern, Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces.
“He left out Southern, Western, North-Western and Central provinces for reasons only known to him,” Kalala stated, adding that Mwila was notoriously tribal, regional and divisive.
“This cheap and contemptible politics is unacceptable and should not be tolerated anywhere in our democratic country. This divisive and reckless narrative should be strongly condemned by all well-meaning citizens, regardless of their tribe or political affiliation.”
He advised that those who contested the Republican presidency did so not to represent their tribe or region but to be a leader of all Zambians.
“The position of Republican President is not a tribal or regional position but a national one. In a democratic dispensation such as ours, with so many political parties led by people from different tribes, the appeal by the PF leaders is illogical and inappropriate,” Kalala stated.
“If it is followed, it would mean that people from each region should massively vote for the candidate of their tribe respectively. This would not only be wrong but it would also bring about chaos and disunity in the nation.”
Kalala stated that a national leader in a democratic dispensation like Zambia, should be elected on merit and on the basis of what they were capable of doing for the country and not for their region only.
“The basis of voting for a particular person should be leadership competence and performance. The tragedy about the PF leaders is that they have a perverted mentality. Any wrongdoing that favours them is acceptable,” Kalala said.
“Corruption and stealing of public resources is “uboomba mwibala alya ifya mwibala (he who works in the field). Violence against political opponents by the police and armed cadres, extra-judicial killing of opposition members and many other abuses are considered to be within the law as long as they serve their selfish interests.”
Kalala noted that had it been a UPND official who had called upon the people of Southern, Western, North-Western, Central and Lusaka provinces to massively vote for UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, “all hell would have broken loose.”
“There would have been total mobilisation of chiefs and other traditional leaders, pastors and NGO leaders, leaders of political parties of all shades, senior citizens, marketeers and party cadres to be paraded on ZNBC television to denounce the tribal and divisive statement,” Kalaba stated.
“The current electricity load-shedding crisis being experienced in the country would have been suspended for probably two weeks to allow the nation maximum viewing of denunciations and condemnations on ZNBC television. The Daily Mail and Times of Zambia would have been consistently carrying screaming headlines and awash with statements denouncing the tribal appeal.”
He added that the PF media team would have feasted on describing how tribal Hichilema, the UPND and Tongas were and why a Tonga should not be elected president.
Kalala stated that the people of Eastern, Luapula, Northern and Muchinga provinces should know that the PF leadership had been promoting tribalism in those areas: “for purely selfish and egoistic interests.”
“It has nothing to do with the love for the people in those areas. The PF leaders cannot point to any tangible development they have done in these areas. They do not even have residential houses there,” stated Kalala.
“My earnest appeal to the people of Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and Eastern provinces is that they should refuse to be used for the PF political selfish interests as they suffer the same hardships like other Zambians in other parts of the country.”