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‘The stupid tribal agenda’

It is said, practice what you preach or change your speech.

And Fumba Chama says it is embarrassing for a leader like Chishimba Kambwili, who once headed the opposition NDC before rejoining the PF, to resort to tribalism when there are so many things he could talk about.

Featuring on Serenje FM recently, former Roan Constituency PF member of parliament Kambwili accused Zambians from Southern Province of being tribalists because they don’t want to belong to other parties besides the UPND.

But Fumba says tribalism is a tired narrative in Zambian politics and cannot win anyone an election.

“It’s very embarrassing that he is full-time acting like somebody without the head. His (Kambwili’s) rhetoric statements are empty. His tribal agenda is stupid and every reasonable Zambian must condemn it, especially we the people that come from Northern, Luapula and Muchinga provinces,” urges Fumba. “We must distance ourselves from that high level stupidness – to pit people against another group of people. You cannot tell us that we cannot vote for that person because of their tribe. This country has never been ruled by a Tonga person, Lozi; and if tribe is the case, what have the tribes that have ruled led this country into? What tribe led to the increase of prices of mealie-meal? What tribe led us to debt? So, it’s pure stupidity for any politician to flag tribalism as a campaign agenda. It is very embarrassing and high level of stupidity that all of us must desist, must detest, must reject and must condemn. We will not be fooled, deceived. We cannot allow privileged individuals, businesspeople masquerading as politicians to trick us into hating each other.”

During elections, politicians are known to use all manner of trickery and digging dirt against rivals – mudslinging has been there in politics for ages. But we thought in the 21st Century, political figures would not lower themselves into tribal politics! We were wrong. In fact, regional politics and voting has been advantageous to our politicians. Once they form government, they’ll go about sloganeering One Zambia One Nation when they don’t mean it at all. Others like Kambwili would even find time to apologise to chiefs in Southern Province after attacking them repeatedly. We all recall how he charged that Tongas wouldn’t even vote for Jesus Christ! Well after he was tossed out of the PF, he travelled alone all the way to Southern Province to apologise for his utterances. That now seem to have been crocodile tears!

As Dr Kenneth Kaunda remarked to the UNIP National Council on August 31, 1967, “We have canvassed so strongly and indeed, viciously, along tribal, racial and provincial lines, that one wonders whether we really have national or tribal and provincial leadership. I must admit publicly that I have never experienced in the life of this young nation, such a spate of hate, based entirely on tribe, province, race, colour and religion, which is the negation of all that we stand for in this party and government. I do not think that we can blame the common man for this. The fault is ours, fellow leaders – we, the people here assembled. The people we have taught to hate others may successively be taught to hate us next time. So that even from a personal and rather selfish angle this way of electioneering must be condemned as completely unZambian unless, of course, we do not mean it when we speak of ‘One Zambia One Nation. Let it be remembered that it would be madness to expect to harvest groundnuts where in fact we had planted castor oil.”

This tribal strategy for electioneering must be done away with. Trying to promote tribal hegemony in a country with such a vast language configuration will not do and our politicians must know better. Championing tribal hatred is at most failure to reason and as Fumba has put it stupid.

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