Pro-PF NGO leader condemns Guy Scott, Kabimba and says PF is not tribal

PRESS RELEASE

Zambia Open Society Foundation (ZOSF) condemns in the strongest terms the tribal talk being covered in the media and attributed to His Honour the Vice President of the Republic Dr. Guy Scott and PF Secretary General and Minister of Justice Mr. Wynter Kabimba.

Firstly, from a moral standing point, both are senior leaders not only in PF but in Government and it becomes very worrying that they have not measured the consequences of such pronouncements when evidence is overwhelming that such talk is potentially disastrous for a country with 72 tribes.

Further, PF is a broad-based organization drawing membership from all corners of the country and political leaders raising a tribal card are alienating some tribes against others.

The PF Cabinet is comprised of a diversity of tribes, such as Hon. Wylber Simuusa, Hon. Emmanuel Chenda, Hon. Fackson Shamenda, Hon. Sylvia Masebo, Hon, Inonge Wina, Hon. Edgar Lungu, Hon. John Phiri, Hon.

Wynter Kabimba and many others, representing different tribes and it will therefore be a shame that political leaders should be at the forefront reinforcing tribal sentiments and tribalism. We also wonder whether tribal cliques, tribal elements or indeed tribalism itself has only been confirmed with the battles Mr. Kabimba is facing.

Our view is that it is a sign of weakness to use tribe as an excuse or a ploy to distract from real issues. The challenges facing Mr. Kabimba can be best handled by the leadership of the party and the least anyone can do is to beat tribal drums.

In the interest of Zambia’s peace and unity, we advise the two leaders and other politicians to desist from tribal sentiments, irrespective of the context and content. That is what national unity demands.

Zambians must not and should not allow individual politicians fighting their own political battles to sacrifice the peace and unity. We also appeal to media houses to exercise responsible journalism by avoiding temptations to fan tribal discontent in the country.

Tribal politics and tribalism is poisonous for our society and the media should not be found guilty of promoting it directly or indirectly. Politicians and media houses alike should know better that sowing potential seeds of tribal discord is recipe for potential genocide.

This careless talk by politicians has the potential to fan untold tribal conflict and violence in Zambia. Let Zambia take lessons from Rwanda’s terrible genocide, because had measures been taken well in advance, Rwanda would have saved lives.

Rwanda has since turned a new page to criminalize tribal sentiments and Zambia must follow suit. Zambia does not need to wait to experience genocide like Rwanda before it can realize that tribal talk is potentially dangerous.

In this light, Zambia must move towards arresting tribalism before its consequences get out of hand. One way is to criminalize the inciting of and agitating for tribalism in whatever shape or form.

ZAMBIA OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION
SUNDAY CHANDA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.