Opposition Alliance chairperson Charles Milupi says he will counsel alliance spokesperson Sean Tembo to remind him that insulting language may frustrate the efforts of the alliance to salvage Zambia from its destructive path.
Tembo was expelled from the Dynamic Analysis Zambia WhatsApp group, Thursday, after he smeared insults on PF media director Sunday Chanda.
The fracas begun at 11:57 hours, Thursday, when Tembo, who is leader of Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) posted; “The Opposition Alliance is committed to remain united and deliver a better Zambia in 2021, through a landslide electoral victory. Those who wish ill to the Alliance will never prevail. A new and better Zambia is on the way.”
But Chanda laughed at Tembo’s post, reminding him of remarks he had made before joining the alliance by posting screenshots from the PeP leader’s Facebook page.
Some of the screenshots read; “political parties uniting is like asking all wives in a polygamous marriage to unite on how best to please the man! It can’t!”, “Why does HH claim to be an economist and yet he has failed to produce an alternative national budget for 12 years” and ” Supporting NDC is equivalent to buying second hand underwear. Certain things should just be bought brand new”.
Chanda then told Tembo that he was “flip flopping”, adding that he had become HH’s lapdog.
“Flip floppers hallucinating about wind of change…from pushing a wheelbarrow as Opposition leader to another Opposition leader’s lapdog,” Chanda said.
Tembo did not respond to any of these until Chanda brought up allegations of fraud against him, allegedly committed in Botswana.
“@Sunday Chanda it’s good that PF gave you a job. Otherwise am sure your wife was getting tired of feeding you. No wonder your excitement to prove your worth to your paymasters. Whether you like it or not, the Opposition Alliance is here to stay. Am sure you’re upset because of the technical knockout that we have given you for Roan and Bahati. You thought we are in disarray but we are rock solid. We are getting better every day. Believe that.”
Chanda insisted on demanding answers over the Botswana fraud allegations but Tembo did not address them, instead saying he was proud that he was one of the politicians whom the PF liked talking about.
The back and forth continued until late in the afternoon, forcing NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale to ask for civility.
“Postings here are clearly devoid of civility and respect for each other and divergence of views. We need to recognise that it is such frailties of minds that demean the very tenets of democracy that we are all meant to uphold on such forums. Admin if u are not careful such a progressive forum will degenerate into lowest levels of personal attacks that are clearly not of interest to a number of us. Let there be contestation of political ideologies here and not unprogressive political maiming which will not take our country anywhere…Such postings are energy usurping please,” remarked Mwale.
It seemed the argument had come to an end until Tembo posted a picture of a wanted person advert bearing his image which he accused Chanda of manufacturing, at 19:12 hours.
“@Sunday Chanda l can see that just like you faked a Freemason certificate for President Hichilema, you have similarly faked an Interpol Wanted Person Alert for myself. I really pity your miserable existence in the quest to please your PF masters and make a living. And your children say they have a father? What a shame!,” Tembo wrote.
“If the PF was a right thinking organization, they would realize that you @Sunday Chanda are a liability to the party.”
Chanda responded; “I see that you’re psycho…clearly…stop dragging me in your fraudulent activities.”
It was at this point that Tembo insulted Chanda, posting; “P*lo yako…ikulu ku left.”
Chanda responded, “Whatever that is…what evidence do you have that I manufactured that certificate? I’ll not insult you Sean but clearly your conduct is that of a psychopath”
Group members were stunned, expressed their displeasure and demanded that Tembo be removed from the group.
Moments later, Tembo was removed from the group despite Chanda’s request against that.
Over an hour later, Tembo, through the group admin, apologized to Chanda and group members, asking to be reinstated but that was met with resistance.
And in an interview with News Diggers, Milupi, who is alliance chairperson, said such language took so much away from the work which the opposition was doing.
“There is need for us to be mature in outlook, but also to recognize that the enemy that is on the other side are desperate and as such, they will do everything to lure us into making us appear like we are unreasonable and unworthy of the trust that the Zambians to put in us. There will be temptations, there will be traps set for us to fall into those traps and that us why, giving myself as an example, I have been insulted, I have been provoked and with my knowledge of English and other languages, I can insult as much as anybody else but that is not the way to react, it is about policies, it is about issues. Recently, the insults that I was getting from one of those officials in PF, I was being called a lunatic and all sorts of things but I cannot lure myself to a level where I equally file such language, that is not what I am in politics for,” Milupi said.
“I will speak to my fellow president in the Opposition Alliance by way of counseling that we don’t benefit from these trades. And also one has to be very careful because social media has brought a level of information sharing that has not been there in the past and even as we share that, we have to understand that there are multitudes of other people, including our own children who also have access to what we say. If they see that type of language, it diminishes their hope in us and it delays the time in which we will be given an opportunity to salvage this country. So I never ever support the use of vile, personal language.”
Milupi said it was the opposition’s responsibility to resist the temptation to fall into the PF’s trap.
“Having said that, the ruling party have an even bigger responsibility because they claim that the majority of Zambians gave power to them to lead us so we would expect them to be a lot more civil in their approach, to have a little more integrity. So this issue of putting into the public domain false reports that say nothing but attempts to malign the other side, we in the opposition have suffered that. Not long ago one of our members had a letter authored for them against their knowledge to say that they are pulling out of the alliance and the language clearly was that of PF and it took an ambassador of this country to refute that. We are aware that our effectiveness as an opposition alliance is what is provoking the other side so we know that they will be doing these things but our responsibility is to make sure that we don’t fall into their trap. So as chairperson, these are issues that I will pick up in the meetings to make our alliance partners aware that there will be temptations and we should do everything in our powers to avoid falling into this trap,” said Milupi.