IT ALL started with tribal worship.
Many years later today, Gacaca traditional courts are having to sort out the mess. Presiding over the post-genocide cases; focusing not on punishment, but first and foremost on forgiveness and reconciliation.
Everything has humble beginnings, which only the planners know, but it is the multitudes of innocent men, women and children who suffer.
The Rwanda genocide, which claimed thousands of lives, started with a media inspired campaign supported by the church.
It is not difficult to plant the seed of disaffection, conflict and ultimate genocide. All it requires is a media that keeps repeating the ethnic mantra of hatred to generate the requisite critical mass.
In this case a Bemba insulting the Tongas. Repeated often enough one tribe will be pitted against another and in no time a conflict of inimitable proportions will ensue. At the end of the day lives will have been lost and invariably, like in most African situations, the instigators will have fled to safe havens abroad, leaving innocent men and women to suffer the ravages of war.
And like all other conflicts the survivors will be left to pick up the pieces, start afresh and hopefully not repeat the mistake of mindless tribal adulation.
It must be clear now that the tribal conflict has been stoked and fanned by a very well crafted appeal to a tribal stereotype, the one ethnographers could attest as being endemic to the region.
The play between polygamy and politics, as if new, has incensed perfectly reasonable people into a peak of untold proportion, often out of context and deliberately magnified to cause offence and therefore righteous indignation.
It is true Davis Chama, regrettably made seemingly tribal sentiments, to the effect that, “If at all they (UPND) will ever be in power, maybe a 100 years from now, not in my generation, maybe a 100 years from now. They are polygamous by nature, so maybe as they have more children they can be in power. But not under the leadership of Hichilema, I don’t think it will happen,” but the outcome given the reaction may be bitter-sweet.
Why should it be for the Bank of Zambia to return clothes confiscated in the alleged abuse of office case involving second republican president Frederick Chiluba?
It is perfectly understandable that the family is now demanding answers from those who preached the message of hate against Dr. Chiluba and had him vilified through courts of law where he was acquitted.
Those responsible must be brought to account because their orchestrated campaign convicted an innocent person in the court of public opinion.
These people must explain how exhibits that should have been kept under lock and key at the Anti-Corruption Commission found themselves in the Bank of Zambia in a manner which former Supreme Court Judge Phillip Musonda found highly illegal and irregular.