ZITUKULE Consortium has asked President Edgar Lungu to fire information minister Dora Siliya for threatening the peace of the country.
Zitukule Consortium executive director Nicholas Phiri said if no action is taken then it will prove that it’s the PF who are on a political agenda of tribalism in the country.
“We condemn in the strongest terms possible remarks attributed to Minister of Information and government chief spokesperson Dora Siliya while addressing people in Eastern Province. Ms Siliya is reported to have said that Tongas have risen against the people of Eastern Province and that Easterners needed to vote for their own or the Bembas would laugh at them if Mr Edgar Lungu lost power in the 2021 general elections. These remarks are reckless, dangerous and mischievous. In view of this, we call upon Dora Siliya to immediately resign from government for threatening the peace and unity of the country,” Phiri said. “If she doesn’t resign, we call upon the Head of State to drop her as Cabinet Minister to demonstrate that he doesn’t condone tribalism. We note with sadness and disgust that Cabinet ministers and some senior PF officials have continued to preach tribal sentiments as a means for canvassing [for votes]. This is not only regrettable, but also absolutely unacceptable.”
He said national leadership should be about individual capabilities and qualities rather than ethic affiliation.
“It is our view that failure by the Head of State to drop Siliya or force her to resign will validate our long held view that tribalism is the official policy of the PF regime and that the declaration of the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation is nothing but a political scheme that takes advantage of the Christian heritage of the country,” Phiri said. “We also call on the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs to prove its relevance by condemning remarks attributed to Siliya in the strongest terms possible.”
On Sunday, information minister, Siliya appealed to traditional leaders to forgive the PF government and give it another chance in power.
The minister, who is Petauke Central PF member of parliament, made the remarks at Mwala Hills in Sinda district.
Siliya was addressing about 300 village headmen and indunas.
She expressed disappointment that in 2016, in Sinda district, President Edgar Lungu got 7,000 votes while UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema got 5,000.
Siliya said Tongas have risen against Easterners in a bid to grab the presidency from them and that this was a war which must not be lost.
She said Tongas must not be allowed to grab the presidency before Eastern Province exhausts the privileges that comes with it. Siliya urged traditional leaders to ensure the UPND was not given any votes in 2021.