Minister, businessman differ over tribal talk

THERE was a near punch-up yesterday in the lobby of the office of the Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda between a Lusaka businessman Prince Costen Simamba and deputy minister of Works and Supply Mwimba Malama when the two differed over tribal remarks against each other.

Mr Malama and Prince Simamba almost turned the lobby of the office of Mr Chikwanda into a boxing ring much to the surprise of other government officials and workers.

Prince Simamba annoyed Mr Mumba when he claimed that Bembas had messed up the country because of their poor governance styles and because of being allegedly tribal in the administration of the country.

The alleged tribal jibe by Prince Simamba angered Mr Malama who immediately demanded an apology because the country had been ruled by five presidents with two not associated to the tribes in the Northern and Luapula provinces.

Mr Malama confirmed to the Daily Nation that Prince Simamba nearly beat him (Malama) up but it took the intervention of Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament (MP) Garry Nkombo and Road Development Agency (RDA) chairman Willy Nsanda to separate the two who were in the lobby.

Prince Simamba claimed that from 1964, Zambia had been governed by leaders from Northern and Luapula provinces charging that the people from the two regions had messed up the country.

Prince Simamba said apart from late president Levy Mwanawasa and immediate past president Rupiah Banda, Zambia had been ruled by people from the Northern and Luapula provinces who he said had led the country to what it currently was both politically and economically.

He wondered why Tongas were being branded tribal and allegedly being stopped from participating in the governance of the country Mr Malama did not take kindly and reminded his adversary that Zambia should never be divided on tribal inclinations because the country was anchored on the maxim of one Zambia one nation.

Mr Malama was further angered when Prince Simamba said Tongas were not responsible for the high inflation alleging that most of the government offices were occupied by people from Northern and Luapula regions.

But Mr Malama said it was shocking that while most Zambians were condemning tribal intonations in the country despite a diverse 72 tribes, there were people who were pushing the tribal tag on the governance of the country.

“Prince Simamba almost beat me up for merely trying to reason with him over his tribal remark right in the foyer of the office of Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda. I had gone to the Ministry of Finance to see the Secretary to the Treasury when I found Simamba and Mr Nkombo discussing some issues. He was condemning the naming of a university being constructed in Chinsali after Robert Makasa. . What annoyed me most was his tribal sentiment that Bembas had messed up the country and I advised that it was erroneous to make a blanket statement against a tribe,” Mr Mumba said.

He said the two exchanged bitter words but that he (Malama) restrained himself because he did not want to make him his enemy.

Mr Malama said the PF government under President Sata did not believe in tribe and that there were a lot of developmental programmes that were being undertaken across the country which Zambians were appreciating. He said Zambia would not eat or prosper on the basis of peddling tribal politics and advised that those who aspire for leadership must always leave above board and accept every tribe to be equal.

The two however reconciled after prince Simamba apologised for his remark.

3 thoughts on “Minister, businessman differ over tribal talk

  1. The marginalised will always fight to raise their voices and visibility in the governance of the country. But the governors will also fight to remain in their position largely because of the ‘politics of the stomach’. We need a new breed of politicians with new ideas and approaches to governance.

  2. mr deputy minister resign because you seem not to know our motto one Zambia one could be from businessman you should grow up bembas are not the only ones at fault,zambia is at fault we all reap what you sow does that sound new to you?you are never too old to set another goal.listen to(agogo)

  3. This is what is known as a bias article. Prince Simamba’s side of the story is not taken into account, and therefore this pieces’ credibility is questionable. Furthermore, why is the no name for the journalist that wrote this piece? If they were brave enough to write it, they should be proud of their achievements. Again, this questions their credibility.
    Now, the matter at hand. Zambia’s government is triabalist. Zambia’s political parties are tribalist. We can’t point fingers and say, “PF or UPND are the only triabalist parties”. The truth of the matter is, once in power, it’s out of our control as mere citizens to attest to the fact that the government will be largely populated by one tribe.
    As Zambian’s,our motto is “one Zambia, one nation”, but why is it that we place so much alligience to our individual tribes instead of our nation? There are 72 tribes as stated earlier on. Assuming that war was declared upon Zambia (God Forbid), would the 72 individual tribes fight for themselves, or would we all come together as a nation to protect our own. Our passports do not say, Republic of Lozi, or Bemba or Tonga. We are the Republic of Zambia, therefore, we should act accordingly. In order to fight corruption, and to have a strong government and economy, Zambia needs diversity. Diversity of tribes, cultures, minds, and one we seem to forget, both men and women.

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