Bishops warn tribal politicians

POLITICIANS scheming to use tribe in pursuit of public office are bound to be rejected by the electorate, the Catholic Bishops have warned.

And Senior Chief Bright Nalubamba has said that Zambians should stop insulting the people of Southern Province because of tribal remarks by individuals.

The Bishops also appealed to journalists not to exaggerate isolated incidents of tribalism which can fuel tribal tension in the country.

This is according to a Catholic bishops statement on the January 20 Presidential election signed by the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) president Telesphore Mpundu released in Lusaka yesterday.

The Bishops urged the media to be professional, objective, responsible, ethical and non-partisan.

The Catholic Bishops have, however, observed that there was nothing new to the voting pattern because since independence regions have always voted for a candidate they knew came from their own area or region.

The Bishops are also concerned about traditional leaders who endorsed their preferred candidates despite the guidance from the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) not to do so.

And Chief Nalubamba said tribal remarks by individuals such as Daniel Munkombwe should not be held as collective views of the people of Southern Province.

He suggested a national dialogue so that Zambians can use their collective wisdom to find a permanent solution to the problem of tribalism.

“I pray that the country should not forget what Southern Province has been to the unity of this beautiful country now to begin insulting all in Southern Province because of one or two southerners who have gone astray. Just look at what Southern Province has been to Zambia’s struggle for independence?” the chief said.

He said when first President Kenneth Kaunda and others wanted contributions to enable them travel around for the struggle for Independence, Southern Province raised £3000 followed by Northern Province which contributed £800. Chief Nalubamba said the one party participatory democracy was introduced in Southern Province the people there wanted peace and order to prevail.

“Honestly, people must be fair in their criticism of the Southern Province. I think we need to come together in a constructive national dialogue to sort out the national problem,” he said.

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