Governance Activist Brebner Changala has condemned those calling the opposition UPND tribal for suspending its party vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, saying nobody must find glory in demonising another person based on tribe.
Changala called News Diggers, Monday, to complain that Zambians have always had no kind words for UPND when it came to discipling party members, as they were always labeled tribal and self-seeking.
Changala condemned those sympathising with GBM’s suspension from UPND, saying the politician needed to be judged based on his actions and not on tribe.
Changala also encouraged media practitioners to be professional and report carefully on matters to do with tribalism.
“It’s extremely regrettable that this tribal narrative which is being propagated by some of the disgruntled of our fellow citizens against another tribe. I will give a brief background and you will see how criminal minds operate. When PF expels Kambwili, there is no tribalism. When PF expels Kalaba, there’s no tribalism. When PF disciplines any of its members, it’s done because PF is a club and its got it’s own rules and regulations which members must follow. In the same vein, when UPND expels Hamududu, there’s no tribalism. But when UPND disciplines any of its members who are Bemba, this stupid narrative of tribalism comes in. They do not even take time to understand what that individual or group of individuals have done and they start demonising the leadership of UPND. Unfortunately in all this game, UPND can’t defend itself,” Changala said.
“We have been brought now to the fold where we see one media house which is a champion of tribalism. It uses same individuals, hardcore tribalists to peddle this narrative and they create false stories. False stories like ‘Bembas fume at UPND’, which Bembas? If you look at the guy talking, he’s nothing but just one of the many Bembas like myself. They want to take advantage of this situation to push a narrative and disadvantage a certain grouping, especially to disadvantage Mr Hakainde Hichilema for one simple reason, that he had gone out to seek public office. So they assemble at one corrupt media house where they plan and do all these things.”
Changala said all well meaning Zambians should condemn GBM’s behaviour.
“GBM himself started this. How do you allow a District chairman to expel a Provincial chairman? Because what I know in politics is that the chief executive officer of any political party is the secretary general. It’s through the secretary general that you exercise disciplinary action. You can’t just go and assemble at a Newspaper. But these tribalists, they can’t see anything wrong in GBM saying ‘I ran the Northern Province, that is my bedroom and Hakainde rans the Southern Province, I don’t interfere in Southern province’. And you want to call GBM a national leader? What an insult to people’s intelligence. Instead of condemning GBM for peddling tribal sentiments, you start attacking innocent people because this is an opportune for them to drive that tribal narrative which for you is a tramp card in all your affairs. GBM already is guilty and must be condemned to the latter. He must be told,” Changala said.
He also cautioned media practitioners to carefully scrutinise sources to avoid being dragged into tribal politics.
“Some of these news sources, ask them, what is their livelihood? Where do they draw their livelihood other than peddling lies and criminality. This tribalism they think is working for them, one day it will consume them. And I am warning the people of Zambia, we have inter-marriages which have produced children which are both Tonga and Bemba, we have produced children which are both Lozi and Chewas and in this 21st Century somebody can peddle a tribal tag? No! People must be sick! So my take is, can we desist from this, I know this newspaper has nothing credible to write. All they do is to assemble disgruntled people who are looking for limelight. Nobody must find glory in demonising one tribe. You can’t tell me that what we are hearing on voice notes is correct and we must defend GBM because he’s Bemba, no! Let’s judge GBM based on his activities. Mwenya Musenge is busy fighting with Kambwili and we don’t see anything wrong there but when UPND starts fighting, it’s tribal. It’s a very sad episode to demonise one tribe for political gain. That’s criminal, that’s banditry and it must not be taken lightly. In future, this will engulf this nation in turmoil,” warned Changala.