POLITICIANS and their political parties taking part in the January 20, 2015 presidential elections should not cheapen themselves by campaigning on tribal lines, the UPND in Southern Province has said. And the UPND has observed that any well-meaning Zambian cannot campaign on tribal lines or resort to attacking others based on tribe.
UPND provincial secretary Winnerson Ng’uni has charged that it was unfortunate that some politicians from some political parties still believed that campaigning on tribal lines would help their parties win the presidential election.
He was reacting to recent remarks which were attributed to the MMD member Elizabeth Chitika Molobeka who urged Bembas in Northern Province not to vote for UPND president Hakainde Hichilema since he was a Tonga from Southern Province.
Mr Ng’uni said it was unfortunate that even after 50 years of independence, some people still thought of demeaning other tribes by promoting tribal politics.
He said if left unchecked, tribal politics and hate statements had the potential to divide the nation.
“Zambians cannot be treated in such a despicable manner. We have a diversity of cultures. We know that today the contemporary Zambia is not like the Zambia we had in 1964, where we were restricted to our own areas. Tribal statements should not be allowed even as we head to the polls,” he said.
Mr Ng’uni said it was disappointing to learn that a senior party official in the MMD could publicly issue a tribal statement without any remorse.
He warned that the UPND in Southern Province will not allow people who believe in tribalism to belittle Mr Hichilema.
“UPND is shocked about the tribal remarks attributed to Madam Elizabeth Molobeka telling the people of Northern Province not to vote for Hakainde Hichilema because he was not a Bemba. Calls by Molobeka to the people of Northern Province to vote for Dr Nevers Mumba because he was their son are unacceptable and retrogressive.
“We also feel that it was not right for her to try and justify her statement and conduct because she should know that she is a senior party official and should be a role model,” he said.