NGOCC condemns tribal, regional politics

The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has asked politicians, both from the ruling party and the opposition, to desist from campaigning on tribal lines, warning of repercussions of such discourse.

In a statement, Wednesday, NGOCC board chairperson Mary Mulenga condemned the broadcasting of tribal remarks by Lutanda Radio in Northern Province.

“The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) condemns in the strongest terms the recent tribal remarks broadcast on radio Lutanda in Northern Province. We have noted with sadness the trend by some people to try and divide the country based on tribe and regionalism. History is replete with many sad stories of how such careless tribal and regional statements have caused conflicts that have degenerated into genocide. It is a fact that when conflict arises, the most vulnerable in society, the women and children, are worst affected in such situations. It is against this background that we urge all well-meaning Zambians especially our politicians, both in the ruling and opposition political parties, that as the country heads towards the 2021 General Elections, to please desist from inciting and soliciting votes on tribal and regional basis,” Mulenga stated.

“We appeal yet again to the Republican President His Excellency Edgar C. Lungu, as father of the nation, to provide leadership in this direction. While the Government has released the report by the Commission on Violence and Voting Patterns, which was commissioned post the 2016 elections, it is our hope that citizens could be sensitized about some of the recommendations in that report. We also urge the Government, through the Executive, to implement some of the proposed recommendations in the said report to avert violent and tribal politics.”

She commended the Independent Broadcasting Authority for revoking the radio station’s license.

“No amount of comparison that other people have done the same things, can justify what happened at Lutanda Radio Station because TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT! NGOCC is of the view that while we may differ in political ideology, we must remain united in the true spirit of the founding fathers that promoted the “One Zambia, One Nation” motto. We commend the IBA for withdrawing the license for Lutanda Radio Station and also take this opportunity to caution the media against promoting politicians and other people that want to divide the nation on tribal lines. We also appeal to Zambians to reject any political party, or individuals that will promote such unprogressive politics. We wish to reiterate that our politics should be based on issues and should be about competition to serve the underserved Zambians, especially the women and children,” stated Mulenga.

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Dr. Makasa Kasonde (Private Citizen)
Dr. Makasa Kasonde (Private Citizen)

Media policy of Lutanda does not promote regionalism. However, the good application of media policy necesarily existed with negative applications of press freedom and freedom of expression. To promote democracy and human rights, it is advisable to focus on the problem. The problem was caused by a interviewee and interviewer. the two need to be punished while issuing a warning to the media house taken as legal entity. Punish the journalist, do not punish the media house because protection of press freedom is paramount.

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