Charges of tribalism within the ruling Patriotic Front by desperate media are blackmail and pose a great danger to national security and President Michael Sata has been warned not to fall prey to false praises and hypocrisy.
Political Activists Brebner Changala and Open Society Foundation (OSF) executive director Sunday Chanda have warned that the tribal controversy surrounding embattled party secretary general Wynter Kabimba was being fuelled by individuals with an inimical agenda against national interests.
And another Activist from Kitwe Chibashe Sichone has said that it was false and misguided to suggest that, “Bemba tribalism was responsible for the uprising against PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba because the resolution to oust him was made by all ten provinces of the country including two members of the central committee.”
Sichone said that the chorus of, “tribal clique and corrupt PF cabinet” was being used by the Vice President Guy Scott and those who were supporting Kabimba.
He regretted that the name of former vice president late Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe had been drawn to defend and promote Kabimba and their agenda when they were no parallels and the current situation involved an individual who should face the united voice of party factionaries.
Sichone recalled how the same people supporting President Sata today insulted and called him (Sata) names when he was in the opposition, “they insulted President Sata as a “Bemba tribalist” while in opposition, including the likes of Sylvia Masebo who continued with her insults even as late as two years ago.”
“Talk about political opportunism! They now claim in their editorials to be President Sata’s greatest praise singers. They maliciously label those who stand against their peculiar agenda ‘tribalists’ or ‘corrupt’,” Sichone said.
He said that the so-called ‘private’ newspaper was so immersed in the PF’s intraparty partisan wrangles if not for their selfish gains.
He has since urged Zambians to strongly condemn careless and dangerous ‘Bemba Tribalism’ mantra which the potential to “divide the country and plunge it in untold chaos like what happened in countries like Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Rwanda.”
Sichone said the self-serving newspaper’s narrow and “partisan” agenda was only for self-preservation of ‘ukufilila munsenga’ at the expense of party and national unity.
And Changala warned President Sata to be careful with emerging hypocrites surrounding him while he is Head of State.
He said that the same people who were singing endless praises for President Sata today have a history of maligning him (Sata) while he was in the opposition, and he remained untrustworthy on the side they belonged.
Changala said while these people continue to eat from the same plate as him, all because President Sata was now in power, it was the same people that issued slanderous statements including hauling allegations of tribalism on the PF president.
“Those who called him tribalist in 2006 are now calling him a nationalist because they want favours from him and that is very dangerous, because what will they do when they find another safe haven?” Changala asked.
He explained that such levels of desperation by those PF sympathisers were actually very dangerous not only to the Head of State, but also to the national security.
Changala charged that it was evident that according to what suited them, they will play along as the case was in 2006 under the late Levy Mwanawasa regime where they advised the Zambian people against President Sata-:
“Now when it suits them, he (Sata) becomes a cousin to Jesus and their praises are endless,” he said.
Changala said this in reference to accusations of tribalism which have rocked the ruling PF with President Sata being accused of tribalism over the composition of his cabinet and other appointees linked to Bemba origins.
On Friday, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda in Parliament challenged UPND’s Cornelius Mweetwa over accusations raised by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba who accused the ruling party structures to be tribalist.
Kabimba has disclosed the PF corruption and tribalism which he accused of being against his presence in the party and government leadership that has split the ruling party over it is leadership.