Patriotic Front deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri says if politicians allow regional politics to thrive, there will be no other tribe that will rule Zambia apart from the Bemba speaking people and their tribal cousins from Eastern province because they are are the majority.
Speaking when she featured on UNZA Radio’s Lusaka Star program, Monday, Phiri who is also a nominated member of parliament, said regional politics were very dangerous.
“There is so much hate when people are talking about each other, what should happen is that when something wrong happens with PF, I should condemn, if something wrong happen in UPND, I should condemn, we shouldn’t pretend, there is so much hate. And in fact the politics we have now are not even tribal, they are regional, which is very very dangerous. I am telling you, whether people like it or not if people continue being regional, there will be no any other tribe that will rule this country apart from Northerners and Easterners, that’s a fact! Whether people like it or not, we Bemba speaking people make up 43% of Zambia’s population and if we add bambuya wesu from Eastern Province, we make 70%, that’s a fact and not a joke!” Mumbi said.
And Phiri dismissed allegations that PF had bought UPND Secretary General Steven Katuka and his deputy, Patrick Mucheleka.
“We went to the UPND secretariat to pay a courtesy call on our friends and to show the people that we were in support of what our youths and women have started, let’s go and see where our friends are operating from. Even when we went to the UPND secretariat there are talks that have emerged that the UPND secretary general and the deputy secretary general have been bought, that me I gave money to Hon. Patrick Mucheleka and that secretary general Hon. Davies Mwila gave Hon. Katuka money, which is not true, it’s not true! And you know, some people don’t realize that lying is a sin, we were just passing by. Anyway it depends which side you are going to go. Why should I give Hon. Mucheleka money when I have children who need it?” Mumbi asked.
Meanwhile, Phiri said the PF had called for a meeting with PF youths who were controlling markets and bus stops to ask them to stop engaging in violence.
“As a secretariat, we have called for a meeting of the leaders of our youths in markets and bus stations, it will be there at the secretariat at 10:00 hours. We don’t agree, even the President doesn’t agree with these youths even when they are going to the airport, taking out their legs, insulting people…you know one funny thing? When we were making the plan to call our youths, some youths even insulted our SG…ati ‘iwe choka apa’ (they said ‘get out’), they didn’t know that it was him. We can’t go on like this, we are Africans and it’s us as leaders who should teach our children how they should behave. We are having a meeting tomorrow with our youths, we’ll speak to them because we are the ones who should help the president to do his work properly,” Phiri said.
Phiri hailed PF and UPND youths for signing a peace accord aimed at ending political violence between the two political parties.
“For me, I have always being saying it, I give an example of myself, I am a mother of seven, of those seven, five are boys, if I can’t my children to go and involve themselves in political violence? If I call the youths secretly, I buy them Chibuku so that they become intoxicated, I buy them a panga…please youths challenge us as politicians, ask us, where are your children? Why should I destroy the lives of my friend’s children while I leave out my children? In fact, me I get disgusted to see a youth drunk with Chibuku of all the beers. Until you the youths you start saying no to us selfish politicians who leave our children home to go and destroy other peoples’ children, God will punish us one day. Sometimes we forget because of our selfish interests, we want to be in the lime light, and when I am passing, people should point at me that that’s Mumbi Phiri the deputy secretary general of PF. I move every day with a rosary, I go to church every week, does God allow me to destroy other peoples’ children by giving them pangas, by giving them Chibuku?,” Phiri wondered.
“Us adults we provoke situations. Me I have now learnt, why should I come on the radio station and I start talking about Mutale Nalumango, Patrick Mucheleka or Hakainde Hichilema? What will it profit me, will it bring food on the tables of our people? When I come on Radio, let me talk about what PF has done. The vulgar language we have been using against each other is what was making our supporters to feel offended and start fighting, because someone has heard president Lungu being insulted. The language has to start with us leaders. This system of exchanging bitter words on radio stations and newspapers should come to an end, we should be talking about what is beneficial to our people.”
Phiri also expressed confidence that the PF would win the Kasanengwa by-election saying Eastern Province was it’s new stronghold.
“We are very ready for the Kasenengwa by-election, and by the way, tomorrow we are meeting as central committee to pick the candidate. We are very ready, we have to be ready always because things happen, because nobody knows the day they will die, for example that’s a by-election that was created by the death of my young sister Hon. Victoria Kalima. And that by-election will be a litmus test for us because Eastern province is now our new strong hold. And we want to see peace in Kasengwa,” said Phiri.