Bemba chiefs saddened by violence


THE Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) has expressed concern and sadness at the post-election violence that has erupted in some parts of the country.

Speaking on behalf of the  26 Bemba chiefs, who met in Kasama yesterday, Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba speaking people, said the ‘‘catastrophic events’’ had tested to the limit the country’s unifying motto of One Zambia, One Nation.

Mwinelubemba observed that it was wrong that after the elections, people who did not come from certain areas should have their houses and market stalls burnt because of their political beliefs and their ethnic origin and be turned into internal refugees in their own country.

He stated that the country had never before witnessed inter-party and inter-ethnic hostilities as those that had characterised the just ended elections.

“The past two weeks have opened a shameful chapter in the history of Zambia: political leaders and their followers have been unapologetically disengaging ethics and morality from partisan politics.

“Assets of perceived rival groups have been burnt, unprecedented creation of internal refugees, intolerance of dissenting political voices, use of thuggery by political cadres against competing groups,” the Mwinelubemba said.

He also noted that as a result of inter-ethnic violence, the BRE had received pleadings from civil servants, council workers and other public workers in the affected areas, calling for their repatriation from areas where they were being victimised.

The Mwinelubemba, however, appealed to ‘‘Ababemba to use all the ethically and morally binding traditions of Ububemba to live peacefully and lovingly with others’’.

He assured people in the Bemba kingdom from other areas that there would be no retaliation, urging them to continue to live and work without any fear.

“Two wrongs cannot make a right; it should always be appreciated that Zambia has been a peaceful country and people have lived, worked and done business in any party of the country and they have inter-married.

“The BRE is not concerned about the voting pattern because that is democracy. However, we are concerned that people are not respecting other people’s democratic views. Tolerance is a virtue where people need to respect other people’s views without necessarily agreeing with them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mwinelubemba has appealed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and bring the instigators of violence to justice.

He also implored political party leaders, traditional leaders, church leaders and media houses to appeal to their members to live peacefully with fellow Zambians irrespective of their political affiliation.

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