‘Zambians might live to regret if the current high tribalism levels are not fought against to the last atom of their existence.
Tribalism in Zambia has been in existence for many years now. But tribalism levels have been rising and there effects worsening in the past three or so general elections. And the August 11, 2016 polls have proved to have given birth to the highest and worst type of tribalism levels Zambia has ever seen.
Moving around in some residential compounds; especially in Lusaka and other areas in the country, one still sees some gloomy faces; and their mouths mumbling against the August 11, 2016 presidential elections’ results.
It’s like some people were stuck with the belief that no one; but their own person would win in the last polls.
With such a belief in their minds, some Zambians cannot talk with other tribes nicely now because their own person didn’t manage to be in State House. As a result, whatever the current Head of State, His Excellency, Edgar Chagwa Lungu and his government suggests and does is perceived to be bad in the eyes and minds of such people.
For instance, referring to the National Prayers we had on October 18, 2016, one person perceived to be promoting hatred against other tribes on political reasons said: ‘How can one have National Prayers na njala.’ Another person in the same category said: ‘These guys have started stealing. How can they increase the price of fuel?’
But is this the first time in Zambia’s history price of fuel has been increased? Don’t people pray to God when they have some socio-economic challenges? Don’t the perceived njala (persistent hunger in families) and the same socio-economic challenges causing high prices of essential commodities; including those of fuel; in addition to working hard individually and collectively as Zambians, call for national prayers to seek God’s intervention and guidance for Zambia to be on the right economic rails?
For any right thinking Zambian, one knows that what some critics say and do against the current government is a sign of not only sour grapes from the loss in the last general elections but also proof of high tribal thinking as it was evident in the past three or so general elections; and worse in the August 11, 2016 polls.
While some people might argue that the August 11, 2016 poll presidential elections’ results showed some levels of tribalism in all regions, it was worse in some regions compared to other provinces where the second highest presidential candidate got reasonable votes; thereby showing relative normal and balanced tribal voting pattern.
Therefore, from whatever angle one looks at it, one can argue that tribalism in Zambia is getting worse. The tribal voting pattern where in some constituencies in some regions presidential candidates were scoring tens of thousands of votes while the second best presidential candidate was getting less than 200 votes in the same constituency is a sign of serious and worsening tribalism in Mother Zambia.
Go to most offices in any part of this country, you will see some tribal groupings gossiping on tribal and political related issues. In some organisations, effective co-ordination among some offices whose office holders are in the perceived rival tribes has negatively been affected because of the August 11, 2016 presidential elections’ results.
To prove high tribalism practices in our country further, Steve Ntitima sent me a text message; and said: ‘On Monday we mark the 52nd anniversary of self-government. May I request u 2 to attend Parliament and listen to naked tribalism in the debating chamber itself during the unofficial running commentaries. Go and see the One Zambia; Two Nations on display. No doubt ECL(Edgar Chagwa Lungu) is waiting for something worse b4 he sees it fit to neutralise it. He is the one privileged to intervene.’
Mr Ntitima continued to say: ‘The two biggest parties have a duty through their whips to stop it; but the governing party has a higher duty than the opposition.’
But how can President Lungu or Patriotic Front (PF) stop tribalism? All Zambians; especially in some regions seem to be practicing tribalism. It’s from such a background that Zambians; and not a specific person regardless of his or her political affiliation or position in society should fight against tribalism at all costs.
Did you know that even some reported economic sabotage related activities spring from tribalism?
One can argue that some reported financial irregularities in some government ministries and in some government related organisations are orchestrated by tribal inclinations to destroy the good image of successive governments in the eyes of electorate.
Some civil servants associated with some tribes; thereby inclined to some political parties have for some time now deliberately been sabotaging successive governments’ efforts to improve on the majority Zambians’ living standards to create an impressions that only their tribe’s mate can improve Zambia’s economy; and bring high unemployment and high poverty levels down.
But what can such tribal attitudes and approaches bring in Zambia?
With some excitement to incite civil strife in Zambia because their own presidential candidate didn’t win in the last polls, someone said: ‘We will soon start running in Zambia because people aren’t happy with the results of presidential elections.’
Responding to such a statement, I asked this person whether his father, mother and his grandparents were physically fit enough to run away from a civil strife if it breaks out in Zambia. I also asked him if he would be able to carry his wife, all his children, brothers and sisters when running away from a civil strife if it breaks out in Zambia.
High levels of tribalism are drifting this country into potential unprecedented anarchy and bloodshed which every Zambian might live to regret if it occurs.
In some cases, I have argued that it appears the sustained peace and stability Zambia has enjoyed for decades now has made some Zambians think that unity, peace and stability are Manna from God. Such people don’t know that peace and stability is a product of efforts from many citizens in a country to sustain such a situation. As Col. Panji Kaunda once warned, don’t take peace for granted.
Little do most Zambians now; especially those who promoting tribalism for political interests know that their statements and actions can bring bloodshed in this country.
Zambians should know that despite the real and perceived socio-economic and political hardships some citizens are facing, our country is far better than many other countries as far as national economic performance, peace and stability are concerned.
Many foreign nationals trekking to Zambia for various economic activities among who have decided to settle in Zambia forever is proof that Zambia is still a beacon of peace and a potential food basket for Africa.
Consequentlyt, such foreigners living in Zambia now are laughing at us that despite relatively conducive socio-cultural, economic and political environment to work hard and do the best for one’s life, some Zambians, incited by some selfish politicians, are agitating for anarchy and civil strife in our country!
Do such politicians and their supporters know that inciting anarchy in Mother Zambia is against God’s plan to sustain peace and stability in Zambia?
Should tribalism worsen in Zambia and bring chaos just because someone somewhere with his or her tribe and related tribes want to govern this country? If this is against majority Zambians, what effects can such tribalism bring into Zambia?
It’s surprising that among those promoting tribalism and other irrational political thinking are those reported to have gone further in formal education. Don’t high formal educational levels facilitate rational and logical reasoning in all situations in some tribes?
Genuine Christians and those who have gone relatively further in formal education should help those who have little or no faith in Jesus Christ and those who, for whatever reasons, didn’t go further in formal education to understand that tribalism, for whatever reasons, can bring untold bloodshed in our country.
We don’t want to live and regret from such archaic and redundant attitude towards any human endeavour in modern civilised and democratic societies. Zambians should fight against tribalism through promoting ‘One Zambia; One Nation at all cost!
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