Lungu has always condemned tribalism – State House

STATE House says President Edgar Lungu does not look at tribe when appointing or dismissing civil servants.

Yesterday, former livestock deputy minister Luxon Kazabu accused President Lungu of practicing tribalism by firing civil servants who hail from Southern, Western and North-Western provinces.

“President Edgar Lungu is presenting himself as a man of contradictions, because not long ago here in Livingstone he engaged in some tribal talk. Now today he is telling Zambians that tribalism should not be allowed as it will destroy us as a nation. That is a clear contradiction,” said Kazabu.

“I want to say that he is caught up in his own web…we can give a lot of examples where he is preaching tribalism such as the retirement in national interest of people from Southern, Western and North-Western. It’s not right. Some of us who don’t want to be accomplices of things going wrong in our nation we’ll not keep quiet. We will keep on reminding President Lungu and his people that no one chose to be born from a certain area. We were born where we are by God’s divine choice. I want to remind Zambians that the culture of keeping quiet can never be right; it’s a weakness in itself and along that, I am reminded about what Napoleon Bonaparte said. He said ‘the world suffers not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people’. People today are suffering and the majority choose to remain mute. Who do they expect to speak against the wrongs that are happening today if we keep quiet? When wrongs are being committed all must stand up and speak out. It’s only by doing so that those that are committing the wrongs will realise that it is not right.” 

Kazabu said he would have expected President Lungu to have fired livestock minister Nkandu Luo by now because she engaged in high level tribalism.

“So it’s not right for President Lungu to just say it is not right…he should act on his lieutenants. He should act against violence which has become the order of the day whenever there is an election,” urged Kazabu. “Why should Zambians kill each other because of politics? God is watching each one of us and each one will reap what we saw. Let us reject those that preach regionalism, let’s reject tribalism, let’s ensure that all Zambians are treated fairly. No Zambian is more Zambian than the other.”

Responding to Kazabu, State House press aide Isaac Chipampe said President Lungu understood the negative impact of tribalism.

“The comments are debased, inciting and uncouth, coming from an administrator, former government leader, and an elderly politician,” he said in a statement yesterday. “It is callous for Mr Kazabu to caricature the President as targeting civil servants from Southern, Western, and North Western provinces for dismissals in an effort to evoke anger in the minds of people from the mentioned provinces. The President has always condemned tribalism whenever it has reared its ugly head like he did in Chilubi district.”

Chipampe said President Lungu does not look at tribe when appointing or dismissing civil servants.

“One expects wise counsel from people like Mr Kazabu who have been around in both public and private office rather than firing cheap shots and fueling the same tribalism he claims to be condemning,’’ said Chipampe.

“The President understands the full import of tribalism when it is allowed to fester having been mediating in some African hotspots. President Lungu does not look at tribe to appoint or dismiss a member of his administration. He looks at the merits behind the appointment. He looks at the justification for dismissing an officer.”

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