THE stigma of tribalism that has continued to haunt Zambia was systematically propagated by the Post Newspaper and its editors who waged a sustained tribal campaign against the UPND and its leadership when it politically suited them, Brebner Changala has charged.
Mr Changala, the civil rights activist,said when Anderson Mazoka formed the UPND, the party was immediately declared tribal and many Zambians condemned the tribal chorus by the Post Newspaper and its editors.
Mr Changala said after the death of Mr Mazoka and Mr Hakainde Hichilema took over the leadership, the Post Newspaper embarked on a sustained crusade of demonizing the UPND and its leadership as being tribal.
He said many concerned Zambians including himself had warned the Post Newspaper that the tribal propaganda and stigmatization against the UPND and its leadership was going to have dire consequences.
He said the newspaper refused to listen to the warning because at the time the editors were serving their personal interest and that of late president Levy Mwanawasa whom they had compromised and colonized.
Mr Changala said during the reign of Dr Mwanawasa, Mr Hichilema was a leading opposition political leader and the Post Newspaper did everything to demonize him as being tribal just to make sure Zambians did not vote for him.
He recalled that after the death of Dr Mwanawasa, the Post went to bed with the Patriotic Front (PF) of president Michael Sata and continued demonizing Mr Hichilema as tribal and even went to the extent of branding the UPND a bantustan political organisation.
“The stigma of the UPND being tribal was started and sustained by the Post Newspaper and now not even its owner Fred M’membe is capable of removing the tribal tag which they propagated to close Mr Hichilema from the presidency of the country. ‘‘Mr M’membe stigmatized Mr Hichilema when it politically suited him and his newspaper. Mr Hichilema could have become president of Zambia a long time ago for he qualifies to be such but save for the tribal hatred from Mr M’membe and the Post Newspaper,” Mr Changala said.