PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is entangled in his own lies over tribalism, maintains Luxon Kazabu.
The former livestock and fisheries deputy minister has challenged State House to publish all the names of President Lungu’s Cabinet, permanent secretaries and where they hail from to show whether the Head of State hates tribalism.
On Wednesday, State House described Kazabu’s statement in The Mast that President Lungu was caught in his own web over tribalism as being debased, inciting and uncouth coming from a former government leader and an elderly politician.
“It is callous for Mr Kazabu to caricature the President as targeting civil servants from Southern, Western and North-Western [provinces] for dismissal in an effort to evoke anger in the minds of the people from the mentioned provinces. The President has always condemned tribalism wherever it has reared its ugly head like he did in Chilubi district,” State House, through presidential press aide Isaac Chipampe, said. “Currently, the President is concerned that tribal sentiments have flooded the discourse in the country and that is why he publicly condemned tribal comments during his meeting in Chilubi district.”
Chipampe said the Head of State does not look at tribe when appointing or dismissing people in his administration.
He said President Lungu does not even show that he is from Eastern Province because he relates with all Zambians.
“That is why it is disconcerting that his critics can brand him tribal, like Mr Kazabu is doing,” said Chipampe.
But Kazabu, who is also a former Nkana PF member of parliament, said President Lungu should lead the way in uniting Zambia across tribal lines.
“If you start something and later on you cross to the other side you get entangled, that is what is happening, you (President Lungu) get entangled that in one breath you propagate tribalism and in another you say the opposite,” Kazabu said. “That is what I say that there is a contradiction. State House should lead the way in uniting the people of Zambia and not to be propagating segregation based on tribe.”
He said despite President Lungu’s prerogative to appoint anyone, Zambians have the right to see the list of his appointees so as to draw their own conclusions on his position on tribalism.
“Let them publish the list of all the permanent secretaries and his Cabinet and where they come from? It is in public domain and just by looking at the composition you can tell what is going on,” Kazabu said. “The other question is who has been retired so far in the so-called national interest? It is the people mainly who hail from Southern, Western and North-Western provinces. I think it will do State House good to face the reality. It is not too late for President Lungu to lead the way in uniting Zambia.”
Asked whether President Lungu should publicly apologise, Kazabu said it was up to his conscience.
“But people like [livestock minister] Professor Nkandu Luo should be fired, it’s perfectly in order. If he does not take any action, that alone will be given various interpretations,” said Kazabu.