FOR every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The Monze meeting is likely to spawn some equal reaction from other tribal groupings which may feel outraged.
Equally the eventuality of realising their resolutions calling on President Edgar Lungu to dismiss a Cabinet minister Mr. Chishimba Kambwili and PF secretary General Davies Chama and his deputy Ms Mumbi Phiri may have suffered a fatal blow.
No Government acts under pressure and it is most unlikely that President Lungu will fire his minister because of a demand made at a public meeting in Monze. It is equally improbable that the President will dismiss his senior party functionaries as demanded by the same gathering.
A closed door meeting would have had a better chance of realising such an outcome. It is great pity that the advice of Senior Chief Monze who counselled against the gathering was ignored.
What is most worrying however is the fallout from the meeting. There is bound to be a covert and perhaps overt reaction from the other tribal groups whose sensibilities have been aroused.
From the tribal genesis of the problem, it is not farfetched to imagine that the Bemba group will be watching very carefully to see if their own will be “victimised” on the basis of utterances that were largely magnified out of proportion to illicit the reaction that culminated in Monze.
Under Dr. Kenneth Kaunda such a “tribal” meeting would have been unthinkable; it would have been likened to treason. The gathering would have been met with the standard force of the dreaded Kamfisa mobile police unit, but times have changed, governance has changed and the level of tolerance extended.
Clearly, some sections of the “Monze” meeting were spoiling for a fight as indicated by the aggressive conduct of the youth, who would have gone into even more aggressive and perhaps violent mode if the meeting had been cancelled as advocated by many people who were opposed to a “tribal” meeting.
It is a tragedy, in our view, that a cultural epithet resulted into political agitation because the two should have been kept apart for their own integrity, image and character. Although the UPND leadership was not manifestly present, the agitation from the youth who were denied a platform to speak, much to their anger, raised the spectre of the Tonga/UPND linkage.
We can only pray that something good will come out of the meeting. In this we fully support Mr. Robson Sikwilala, one of the speakers at the Monze meeting, who condemned cultural or tribal generalisation.
His analysis was logical and appropriate. The suggestion that Chama insulted all the Tonga people by saying that HH would never be president of the country begs the question. Not even the polygamy jibe amounts to an insult, because this is a cultural reality in many Zambian tribes. Where it is not formal, many men have made it an informal reality.
What is most worrying is the apparent gullibility of sensibilities. Those who stoked and fanned the current conflict must be very satisfied that their scheme has worked.
This is tragic and does not bode well for our country.