BEMBAS are angry that Matero Member of Parliament (MP) Miles Sampa along with Eric Chanda, leader of Fourth Revolution (4R) and Elias Chipimo of the National Restoration Party (NAREP) have formed a tribal grouping called Orange Alliance meant to divide the Bemba vote, Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge has charged.
Mr Musenge said Mr Sampa, Mr Chanda and Mr Chipimo should be condemned for propagating and perpetrating tribalism in their quest to take over the leadership of the country which has remained united despite its diverse ethnic groupings.
Mr Musenge said while the trio had the right to form a political organization of their choice, it was shocking that the Orange Alliance was led by people from the same tribal grouping.
He told the Daily Nation yesterday that it was ‘‘utopia and political naivety’’ for Mr Sampa, Mr Chanda and Mr Chipimo to imagine that Zambians would vote for them on the basis of their region of origin in a democratic country like Zambia.
Mr Musenge said the three leaders of the Orange Alliance would never succeed in dividing the Bemba vote because the people of Northern, Luapula and Muchinga provinces had always frowned on any leader advancing political ambitions on the back of tribalism or regionalism.
Mr Musenge said if leaders of the Orange Alliance were wise, they would have thought of the implications of sharing the party’s positions to the exclusion of other tribes in the country.
It would be difficult for the three men to attract members to their alliance because the organization was evidently tribal and lacked national character.
“It is disappointing that Mr Sampa, Mr Chanda and Mr Chipimo could take a tribal trajectory in their quest to take over the governance of the country. Zambians have lived peacefully and a united people despite coming from a diverse tribal background.
‘‘Zambians detest anything that smacks of tribalism or regionalism and the Bemba people are angry with the owners of Orange Alliance because it is nothing but a tribal and marriage of convenience whose agenda is to divide the Bemba vote to disadvantage President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front (PF).
‘‘But as I see it, the three will not have any impact or influence on the outcome of the August elections,” Mr Musenge said.
Mr Musenge said Zambians were well-informed and could never be fooled by people like Mr Sampa and his colleagues in the Orange Alliance and predicted that the PF would win the general elections with a landslide because President Edgar Lungu had managed to change the economic and political landscape of the country by preaching peace, unity and love.
He said the PF was going to continue preaching against tribalism and hate speech because President Lungu, as head of the ruling party had made it clear that he abhorred sectarianism and regionalism.
Mr Musenge said the Bemba vote for the PF was safe and that no one would be able to destroy the popularity of the ruling party because President Lungu had worked hard to transform and reform the party and its members.
He predicted that President Lungu was headed for a landslide victory in the August elections and that there shall be no rerun because the Head of State was going to garner more than the 50 percent plus 1 majority required for an outright presidential winner.