Livestock and Fisheries Minister Professor Nkandu Luo says she is trying to build the nation as much as she can and will not comment on people labelling her a tribalist on social media.

Last week, a video went viral in which Prof Luo was campaigning in Chilubi and she was heard saying only a Bemba speaking person could replace her, not a Tonga.

“Mukwayi ine nshikwete amashiwi ayengi. Nachibalila ukuilumbula ndi mu Bisa, ndi mu Bemba. Kanshi kumwesu kulingana ne mitetu yesu, tatwima ati twaya muku pyanika umuntu…fino ine Nkandu Luo ne mu Bisa, nemu Bemba nafwa abati iyo kasendeni umu Tonga ku Monze ese apyane Nkandu Luo… I don’t have much to say, I said earlier I am Bemba by tribe and according to our tradition, we don’t replace a person with someone from another tribe. For example, if I Nkandu Luo were to die and they say ‘get someone who is Tonga from Monze to come and replace me, [it won’t be appropriate],” Prof Luo told Chilubi residents.

These remarks incensed some citizens and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema wondered whether it was a crime to be born Tonga.

Hichilema also referred to Prof Luo as a tribalist who was emulating President Edgar Lungu.

But in an interview, Prof Luo wondered why people only wanted to discuss negativity instead of the good work she was doing in her ministry.

“I don’t respond to social media, you are talking to a wrong person. I am not part of that agenda. Please take me out of those discussions. If you want to discuss anything with me, I am Minister of Livestock and Fisheries none of you discuss the good work I am doing. You want to focus on negativity, I have no time for that,” Prof Luo said.

“If you want write your news for the development of this nation, I would like you to focus on positive things. If you want to talk to me in future, just know that I am not part of this social media network that is bent at destruction, [those] who are saying I am tribal. I would like to build this nation as much I can, so leave me out of those discussions.”

She said she was thankful that she had people who knew her well.

“And I know that you as News Diggers! want to write negative things about me so I will keep my professional conduct and mistakes I have learnt. I don’t have to defend myself, a lot of people know me well and that is enough. I think what is important in life is to have people that respect you and who know you truthfully so why don’t you refer to those things? All you want is to create something bad, I am sorry I am not part of that agenda!” said Prof Luo.