Politicians and media houses fanning careless and loose tribal talks in government must know that they are sowing seeds for potential genocide, Open Society Foundation executive director Sunday Chanda has observed.
Chanda has said Zambians must reject careless and dangerous tribal talk that was being propagated by some politicians, government officials and some media houses.
And Chanda has accused Vice President Guy Scott being politically naïve for promoting tribal talk in Zambia and the ruling Patriotic Front.
In an interview Chanda said that it was irresponsible for journalists and some overzerous politicians to continue fanning acrimony through tribal talk.
He said that media houses and leaders should avoid the temptation of sowing seeds of tribal discontent in the country.
Chanda said that tribal politics was poisonous for any society and the media should not be in the forefront in propagating tribal hatred.
“Politicians and media houses must know that they are sowing seeds for potential genocide and Zambians must reject such careless talk. This careless talk has the potential to fan untold tribal conflict in Zambia and this situation that must be avoided at all costs,” Chanda said.
He said that Zambians must learn from countries such as Rwanda which had faced the consequences of such loose talk, “Rwanda has turned a new page to criminalize tribal sentiments. Zambia does not need to wait to experience genocide like Rwanda before it can realize that tribal talk is dangerous. In this light, Zambia must criminalize inciting and agitating tribalism in whatever shape or form.”
He said that statements attributed to Vice President Dr Scott and party general secretary Wynter Kabimba that there was a tribal clique in the PF were not only shameful but a source of concern.
“OSF condemns in the strongest terms the tribal talk being covered in the media and attributed to Vice President Dr. Guy Scott and PF secretary general and Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba. From a moral stand 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,” said Chanda.