CHIEF Sipatunyana has challenged politicians to stop using youths as tools of violence.
He urges Zambians to be patriotic and serve their homeland.
In an interview, Sipatunyana of Kalomo district in Southern Province, said instead, politicians should mold youths into effective leaders.
“Let us all as Zambians mold our young people into youthful citizens. The use of youths to foment trouble, promote tribalism should be a thing of the past,” he said.
“Yes ourselves, the old generation, used the youths during the struggle for independence to foment trouble; maybe throwing stones. Do whatever, but that drove a point to colonialists that we wanted independence. But today in Zambia why should we be asking youths to foment trouble, violence during election or electioneering violence? Why should we?”
Sipatunyana said politicians must be patriotic and desire to serve the country diligently.
“Yes, using youths to cause violence was a political tactic or strategy. I mean, that was an independence struggle tactic or strategy, but these days why should we be losing lives for politics? Why should we see each other as PF or UPND instead of a Zambian?” Sipatunyana asked.
And Sipatunyana strongly cautioned against promoting tribalism in the country.
“Zambians must not choose to be divided on tribal lines but remain united under the spirit of belonging to mother Zambia. Our country, Zambia, is a multi-cultural country, right; while we retain our cultural or tribal identity. But when it comes to mother Zambia, we all belong to mother Zambia, whether you are Kaonde you are what, Bemba, or you are Lozi,’’ he said. “When it comes to something we should not say because you are this tribe you cannot be holding certain positions, but instead let us look at the calibre of somebody when it comes to rising to certain positions; be it deployment or national positions. Let us look at the calibre of that person to perform, not his tribe.”
The traditional leader said although stopping tribalism may not be fully fulfilled in his life time, it is a bad thing.
He cited the United State of America which has different races as a good example of a unified society.
“Can Zambians be patriotic. Patriotism entails that you are prepared to serve and suffer for mother Zambia. So, let this tribalism end because we all belong to mother Zambia, isn’t it? We have no other country to go to. If I get into trouble here where am I going to run to?” Sipatunyana asked. “If I’m in another country and I find myself in trouble I would run back home to Zambia. Zambia is our motherland; it is our homeland. Alright, Africa is our motherland, but Zambia is our homeland and we have nowhere else we can go. We must be patriotic and serve it.”
He urged Zambians to love one another and the country regardless of their regional location.
“We come together, we were found in the boundaries of this country not out of our own making but the colonialists brought us together,” said Sipatunyana. “Now let’s draw lessons from America although the blacks had to fight for their rights while other people were recognised as Americans, whether they were British, French or what, alright. They still trace their origins in Europe. Let us also emulate South Africa in terms of trying to embrace other different ethnic groupings even if of late they experienced some xenophobic attacks.”