The current political crisis in Zambia is a result of tribal hegemony
By Masinga Khumalo
I am a person who likes to set the record straight and I believe that a wrong can only be corrected if it is exhaustively discussed. I don’t think that the polarisation we are experiencing in this country will just disappear without all of us taking responsibility and accepting that the path we have taken is wrong.
What is clear is that the ongoing political crisis in Zambia is not caused by anything other than tribal hegemony that seeks to dominate and subjugate other tribes and/or communities. Political Science says that democratic means of resolution of the nation’s affairs is the best tools for the development of any country in the world. If you throw a stone to a distance of a few years back, you will find out that, since 2011 the government of Zambia is ruled by two communities; the Eastern/Nyanja and the Northern/Bemba community and in a few instances assisted by ceremonial civil servants or puppets from other minority tribes to make it seem like all the 72 tribes or communities are represented.
President Sata taking oath of office before Chief Justice Ernest Sakala on 23rd September 2011 – Picture by Thomas Nsama
The late president, Micheal Sata, set us on a very dangerous path starting in 2011 when all top constitutional post holders were mainly Northerners. And our current
Former president Rupiah Banda with President Lungu at one of the campaign rallies
President has failed to stop the vice; he has continued to reward those from the Northern community with jobs while fast fusing in those from the Eastern community (helped by former president Rupiah Banda) where he hails from. All Government appointments are now done on ethnic grounds and this has adversely affected the performance of government.
The current trend in Zambia comes from the school of thought that believes that “only they can rule others and others should only be followers” and this is what we have been observing since 2011 up-to-date. Some people from the two ruling communities have openly been saying they intend to make sure that the presidency alternates between a Northerner and an Easterner, and that this will remain the status quo since the two regions have a numerical advantage when it comes to voter numbers.
HH waves at the crowd
To maintain this tribal hegemony in political power, some people have launched an onslaught on Tongas and all the tribes believed to have voted for the opposition. These are vilified on a daily basis.
The ‘One Zambia One Nation’ motto is now just words as a lot of our citizens no longer feel a sense of unity. Divisive messages have been surfacing even among religious leaders, musicians and other public figures.
We all need to sober up and ask whether being in government is more important than love for fellow citizens and future generations
If there’s anyone in this country who can help unify the country, it is Edgar Lungu. He has the power and resources to do it but for one reason or the other, he doesn’t seem interested. It is therefore clear that the tribal divisions fit into his political strategy.
Zambia can only become stable if no community or tribe believes that it is superior to others. We are a people of one nation and the flag represent all of us. We the majority must not stand with our hands behind watching the country being destroyed by those with no agenda for the country. We must unite and change the system and prove to the president and his current opportunists and corrupt cabinet what true leadership and democracy means through unity, peace and development.