Jack Kalala has appealed to Eastern and Northern Provinces to reject PF’s tribal politics because they are suffering the same hardships like Zambians in other regions of the country.

And Kalala has called on chiefs in Eastern, Luapula, Northern and Muchinga provinces to stand up for their subjects and demand that the ruling party allows opposition party leaders to freely interact with citizens in the country to enable them vote objectively.

Commenting on remarks by PF secretary general Davies Mwila and Local Government Minister Charles Banda when they recently visited Eastern Province where they incited people to vote for President Edgar Lungu based on his ethnicity, Kalala said such sentiments from national leaders had capacity to bring about chaos and disunity in the country.

He charged that the PF had proved to be notoriously and delinquently divisive since it assumed power in 2011, and that the party had consistently promoted tribal and regional politics in the way it had been conducting its affairs at the expense of national unity and stability.

“It is unfortunate and regrettable that national leaders of a party in power, at the level of Mr Mwila and Honorable Banda, should shamelessly be promoting tribal division in the country. This cheap and contemptible politics is unacceptable and should not be tolerated anywhere in our democratic country. This divisive and reckless narrative should be strongly condemned by all well-meaning citizens, regardless of their tribe or political affiliation. The position of Republican President is not a tribal or regional position, but a national one. In a democratic dispensation, such as ours, with so many political parties led by people from different tribes, the appeal by the PF leaders is illogical and inappropriate. If it is followed, it would mean that people from each should massively vote for the candidate of their tribe, respectively. This would not only be wrong, but it would also bring about chaos and disunity in the nation,” Kalala observed.

Kalala, a former Special Assistant to the President for Policy and Project Implementation and Monitoring, wondered how the PF and its supporters would have reacted had the remarks been uttered by a UPND official.

“The tragedy about the PF leaders is that they have a perverted mentality. Any wrongdoing that favours them is acceptable. Corruption and stealing of public resources is ‘ubomba mwi bala alye ifya mwibala.’ Violence against political opponents by the police and armed cadres, extra-judicial killing of opposition members and many other abuses are considered to be within the law as long they serve their selfish interests. Had it been a UPND official who had called upon the people of Southern, Western, North-Western, Central and Lusaka provinces to massively vote for HH, all hell would have broken loose! There would have been total mobilization of chiefs and other traditional leaders, pastors and NGO leaders, leaders of political parties of all shades, senior citizens, marketeers and party cadres to be paraded on ZNBC Television to denounce the tribal and divisive statement. The current electricity load-shedding crisis being experienced in the country would have been suspended for probably two weeks to allow the nation maximum viewing of denunciations and condemnations on ZNBC television,” he added.

“The Daily Mail and Times of Zambia would have been consistently carrying screaming headlines and awash with statements denouncing the tribal appeal. The PF media team would have feasted on describing how tribal HH, UPND and Tongas were and why a Tonga should not be elected President. But with the appeal having come from the two PF leaders, it is considered acceptable and factual. This is bigotry and hypocrisy on the part of PF leadership! It is bad leadership that should have no room in Zambia. Zambians should freely vote for leaders of their choice regardless of their tribe or political party.”

He advised the residents of Eastern, Luapula, Northern and Muchinga provinces to understand that the PF leadership had been promoting tribalism in their areas for purely selfish and egoistic interests, which had nothing to do with love for them.

“The PF leaders cannot point to any tangible development they have done in these areas. They do not even have residential houses there. When they go there, they sleep in guest houses, while they have built chains of luxury houses on the Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces for themselves, their children and rent. Mr Davis Mwila has developed a farm in Lumfwanyama where he keeps cattle, while he has invested nothing in Luapula Province where he even stood as member of parliament (for Chipili constituency). I do not think he has built a house there. Isn’t it shameful for PF to claim that Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and Eastern provinces are their strongholds, while the same provinces continue to be among the poorest in Zambia?” asked Kalala.

“My earnest appeal to the people of Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and Eastern provinces is that they should refuse to be used for the PF’s political selfish interests as they suffer the same hardships like other Zambians in other parts of the country. Chiefs in these provinces should stand up for their subjects. They should demand to allow opposition leaders to speak to their subjects so that they are able to vote objectively and for leaders who would bring development to their areas to uplift their standard of living. People in these provinces should reject the cheap and divisive politics of tribalism that the PF leaders are propagating to hoodwink them and which has the potential to create division and instability in the nation. This type of cheap politics does not even add value to lives of the people and the development of the country. It is retrogressive. The PF leadership should know that the people of Zambia need a unifying, responsible and accountable leadership. They want a progressive leadership that will inspire and create hope, dignity, stability, development and opportunities for all, and to live in harmony with each other.”