Bembas and Tongas are biggest culprits of regionalism – Shakafuswa

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Shakafuswa Jonas

Former Katuba UPND Member of Parliament and now PF cadre Jonas Shakafuswa has charged that the Bemba and Tonga speaking people are the biggest culprits of the tribalism that has characterised Zambian politics.

And Shakafuswa has urged the Commonwealth spearheading talks between the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and opposition UPND to find a way of addressing the regionalism type of politics.

Shakafuswa in his article below also observes that the country despite introducing multi-party politics in 1990, in reality the country is still practicing one party system kind of politics.

Below is Shakafuswa’s article;

DIALOGUE: What are my expectations?

Has it really taken the Commonwealth to come and wake up our Political Party leadership to the need of dialogue? Very interesting.

I believe we have to go back to our drawing board to realize why we are foolishly here.

Zambia agreed to the advent of multiparty democracy. What were the implications. We agreed to do away with a one Party system of governance to allow a more accommodating system of democracy. We agreed to have diversity in unity as we were being lectured by those advocating the the shift from one party democracy.

The ushering in of Multiparty democracy has shown that we haven’t moved from a one Party trends. We have the winner takes all mentality, which in itself manifest one Party democracy tendencies. The winner want to ensure that the opponents feels the pain of losing for the entire time they are in power. The losers become preoccupied with ensuring that the term of office for the victor is made difficult for them to rule the country.

The worst has been the manifestation of regional clustering which has entrenched the unholy face of tribalism.

The biggest challenge which I feel needs addressing at the round table is that of tribalism. To point other regions as being tribal without seeing it in your eyes is the biggest problem facing our country today. Multipartism is today synonymous with regionalism. The biggest culprits today are the Bemba/Tonga regionalism. This is a simple example I can give today.

The history of Zambian politics is associated with the rivalry of the Bemba and Tonga people. Unfortunately current generation have carried this rivalry to today’s politics. We started very well with MMD. But then MMD did a witch hunt of former UNIP leaders which in itself defined the winner takes it all mentality. This to a larger extent was as a result of UNIP’s opposition to MMD rule. Insteady of accepting the new found concept of diversity of political thought, MMD went for the leadership of UNIP.

IntraParty democracy became threatened when Chiluba wanted to change the Party constitution to fit his desire to stand for a third term. This led to the expelling from the Party of perceived challengers. But this in itself gave birth to formidable political Party’s of those days. FDD and UPND.

For the sake of this article I will comment on UPND as it is very relevant to my article. President Anderson K. Mazoka broke away from MMD and formed the Party. This Party immediately sold like hot cake in the Tongaland of Southern Province and associated regions. It is worth noting that although it was branded a regional tribal Party, Mazoka Maintained a National character. MMD was dominated by mostly Bemba leadership. Then Lamba/Lenje took over to annoyance of the Bembas who grouped and formed PF, which eventually beat MMD in 2011 to form government.

To cut the story short today the rivalry in the political arena is the belief by some sector that it can only be a Bemba who should rule this country. On the other hand the Tonga’s through UPND feel it is only them who should rule this country. This has brought a big manifestation of tribalism in the political arena. The tribal rivalry is so entrenched where it has become so institutionalized. We saw the PF replacing all MMD in Government and replacing them dominantly with people from the north. But this did not end there. UPND has also been a victim because of its style of opposition. All perceived to sympathize with the opposition are candidates for the boot.

UPND preoccupation is not removing the PF from government but also replacing all those perceived to be or sympathetic to PF( Bembas)from government and replacing them with their people, Tonga’s. I can’t blame them because even today their membership have been victims.

My question is. Could there be a stop at this institutionalized practice of regionalism manifesting as tribalism. Can the So called dialogue address this cardinal issue? My humble cheap thought.


4 Responses to Bembas and Tongas are biggest culprits of regionalism – Shakafuswa

  1. Very disappointed by Shakafuswa’s views. He believes in the primitive illusion that once a person from whatever province is elected as president, then his tribe is in power. The reality is that a few people will be in power with him because tribes do not rule or govern. It is a few people from some tribes who govern through their political vehicle and not the tribe because tribes are not political vehicles. I know that Shakafuswa’s view is common but it still remains an illusion.

    March 22, 2018 at 6:47 pm

  2. this chi man very stupid likes fucking young girls in pitlaterines

    scare crow
    March 22, 2018 at 6:53 pm

  3. Shakafuswa’s reasoning is similar to fascism of the 1930s in Europe. If one Jew is a criminal then all Jews are criminals, so condemn all Jews to collective punishment. If one Bemba is president, then all Bembas are in power. Yes this view is widespread in Zambia and that is precisely why we are a backward country. It is the reason Sata used to say that it was improper for Mwanawasa to be president because he was from a small tribe. But Sata can be forgiven to some extent. He was just a drop-out after all.

    March 22, 2018 at 9:26 pm

  4. Shakafuswa, muliba luyabo, kamulyabo ndalama sha pf. You are useless individual.

    John chabe
    March 23, 2018 at 11:06 pm

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