Post Newspaper dangerous “Bemba tribalism” mantra

Dear Editor,

I was disheartened to read the Sunday Post Newspaper editorial of 20th October 2013 whichfalsely claimed that “Bemba tribalism” is at the core of demands by ruling Patriotic Front (PF) members to have embattled Secretary General Hon. Wynter Kabimba disciplined based on petitions from all 10 provinces and 2 members of the Central Committee.

Strangely, the Post Newspaper is parroting the same divisive language of “tribal clique” and “corrupt PF Cabinet ministers” used by Kabimba and Vice President Guy Scott which have badly dented the image of PF and government.

It is also deeply regrettable that the Post Newspaper chose to discredit a great leader, freedom fighter and former Republican Vice President late Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe (MHSRIP) through their futile attempts to defend and promote their friends Guy Scott and Wynter Kabimba.

The Post’s revisionist view that late Simon Kapwepwe was popularly elected as UNIP and Republican Vice President only by Bembas only is both factually and historically incorrect, unless they are implying that UNIP was a “Bembas only” party – ask Dr. Kenneth Kaunda and other freedom fighters like Simon Zukas!

In a democratic dispensation, unlike the one party State Kaunda imposed on Zambia later on, late Simon Kapwepwe and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula would both probably have been freely elected President of Zambia if they had been allowed to exercise their God-given right! Paradoxically, the Post’s false and misguided

“Bemba tribalism” claims also echoed by their surrogates like Fr. Luonde came on the same day that Kabwata MP Hon. Given Lubinda published a lengthy letter in the Sunday Mail of 20th October 2013 explaining how Wynter Kabimba labeled false accusations against him to hound him out of PF, with only Sylvia Masebo being the key witness, and how Wynter served both as Accuser and Judge in his case.

Yet, in spite of the obvious miscarriage of natural justice against him by Kabimba’s devious schemes, Lubinda never cried wolf by claiming that his persecution was tribal or racial in nature, and Post Newspaper never stood behind him. Oddly, Wynter and the Post even supported PF cadres like Kabwata PF Constituency chairman Silubanje and others who demonstrated against Lubinda claiming they were exercising their democratic rights!

The Sunday Mail of this same date quotes Home Affairs Minister and PF Disciplinary Committee chairman Hon. Edgar Lungu as challenging Scott and Kabimba to excuse themselves from the PF if they felt it was tribal or corrupt, saying“…you can’t hunt with fox and play with rabbits!” In the Sunday Nation on the same day Finance Minister Hon. Alexander Chikwanda again refuted these senseless allegations by the Post and their preferred PF leaders stating that Wynter Kabimba is both Bemba and Sala by parentage and “…how can we work against our own?”

When people feel politically pressured and weak due to their lack of genuine popular mass support and base, they resort to “playing victim” employing tactics like tribalism, clanism, racism etc. Indeed “Uwawa tabula kabepesho” (he who has fallen lacks no excuse!). Instead of defending themselves against their accusers and rallying people to their side, the Post and their preferred PF leaders, like desperate drowning men, are trying to pull everyone down with them to destruction due to their ulterior motives – Ukufilila munsenga!

Is the Post telling us that Wynter’s accusers, Central Committee members like Hon. Jean Kapata (North Western province) and Onat Kamayoyo (Western province) all Bemba? Is PF Deputy SG Bridget Atanga, who expelled Wynter Kabimba’s person Situula Sikwindi Bemba? Is Hon. Given Lubinda Bemba? Is Hon. Edgar Lungu Bemba? What other excuses, apart from feeble accusations of “Bemba tribalism”, do the Post Newspaper, Guy Scott and Wynter Kabimba have? Zambians should not forget that the Post Newspaper’s crusade as spokespersons for Wynter Kabimba and Guy Scott is only for self-preservation and to protect their narrow “interests.”

Surprisingly, this same newspaper kept insulting President Sata as a “Bemba tribalist” while in opposition, while Sylvia Masebo was insulting Mr. Sata even as late as 2 years ago! Talk about political opportunism! They now claim in their editorials to be President Sata’s greatest praise singers.

The Post newspaperalways maliciously labels those who stand against their peculiar agenda “Tribalists” or “Corrupt” – they labeled late President Chiluba, who actually picked Levy Mwanawasa over his fellow tribespersons Emmanuel Kasonde and Michael Sata to succeed him as President, a tribalist. And they also called late UPND leader Anderson Mazoka and former President Rupiah Banda “tribalists.”

One would also wonder why a so-called “private” newspaper like the Post is so bitter and fully immersed in PF’s intraparty partisan wrangles, thus losing all sense of objectivity and independence. Can they tell the nation if they are an appendage of the PF which serves the interests of “their chosen leaders?”

I urge all well-meaning patriotic Zambians to condemn in the strongest terms possible the Post Newspaper’s careless and dangerous “Bemba Tribalism” mantra which can divide the country and plunge it into untold chaos like what happened in countries like Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, etc.

This self-serving newspaper’s narrow and “partisan” agenda is only for self-preservation at the expense of party and national unity.

CHIBASHE SICHONE CONCERNED CITIZEN, KALULUSHI, ZAMBIA