UPND is the only political party which has made an unsustainable political declaration that for them, only a Tonga can be president, Works and Supply Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya charged on Friday.
But Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala told him that unless he provided evidence for his allegations, he had no right to label UPND tribal.
Kafwaya was debating President Edgar Lungu’s speech to parliament on the application of national values, ethics and principles.
“Let me consider what is unsustainable political development. Madam Speaker, I think that political tribalism which is an invention in our political landscape of the UPND is totally unsustainable. The UPND as a political party have introduced political tribalism. This political party, the UPND, Madam Speaker is the only political party which has declared that for it, ‘only a Tonga can be president.’ It is the only political party which has made that declaration that ‘only a Tonga can be president in that political party.’ now today, when we talk about this unsustainable declaration…,” Kafwaya said.
But Namugala guided the minister to avoid casting aspersions in order to allow the smooth flow of debate.
“We must ensure that there is free flow of debate, therefore I want to discourage any attempts for points of order. Further, as you debate honourable members, let’s avoid casting aspersions. Let us avoid that honourable members. It is possible to debate within the framework of the speech and of course while you are free to express your views, I would like to discourage pin pointing political parties in the manner honourable minister you are doing of accusing them, whichever political parties of issues such as tribalism. As you debate honourable minister and I want you to continue debating, take that advice from the chair. Continue with your debate,” Namugala guided.
Kafwaya, however, said it was unfair to prevent him from naming political parties when the opposition were attributing certain things to the ruling PF.
“I would like to just be clear because there are certain things in the political landscape that are attributed to PF and people are free. They come here and say ‘this PF’ they say it here on the floor of the House,” Kafwaya argued.
Namugala then told him that unless he had evidence that UPND was a tribal party, he had no right to pin point the party.
“Honourable minister I have just guided you. And it is in the best interest of this House to ensure that there is free flow of debate and that the House does not become unruly. Honourable minister, your direct accusation that this particular political party whether it’s MMD or UPND or indeed any other party is practicing tribalism. Unless honourable minister you can lay evidence on the table that ‘this is the evidence that this tribalism is being practiced.’ Continue with your debate,” said Namugala.
But Kafwaya insisted that UPND was practicing tribalism as perpetrating violence.
“I just want to say that there are political practices which will never be sustainable because when you practice them now, you won’t be proud of them 20 years from now. They are there such as when the UPND in 2006 said ‘only a Tonga can be president in their political party’ they are now not proud of that because that is unsustainable, that is the promotion of political tribalism. This is not the only thing madam speaker which is unsustainable, political violence, totally an unsustainable practice in politics. Madam speaker, when MMD removed UNIP from power, there was no political violence but when there was a chance for UPND to remove MMD from power, what did we see? ‘Mapatizya formula’ [and] it’s not PF. And this is why this is why I normally say, for those who condemn political violence, condemn the culture which created the violence, it is Mapatizya, it is UPND. Mufumbwe blood bath, PF was not there,” said Kafwaya.
“Madam speaker, the violence that we saw in Sesheke, the pangas that we saw in Sesheke and a bit of what we saw in Kafue is as a result of the culture of political violence which begun in Mapatizya. To deal with this issue of political violence, we must not ignore the culture that has created the violence who brought it to existence. I always say this, ‘f you want to deal with the problem, deal with the culture. The people who begun it, the UPND must denounce violence. Our president His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu always condemns violence and sometimes I feel sorry because he is not one of those who begun the violence.”