FORMER education minister in the MMD regime Michael Kaingu says the PF’s desire to win the 2021 general election will be based on their performance and not on continued tribal attacks.

In an interview, Kaingu said all Zambians, regardless of tribe, were all feeling the economic pinch.

“The general elections are there to bring in a new government whether it is the return of PF or another party. PF will come back based on their performance not on the tribal inclinations because the economy has nothing to do with the tribe. There is no shop for the Bembas; there is no shop for the Lozis, there is no shop for the Ngonis, we all shop from the same shops. We go to the same schools; we go the same hospitals! So, if there are no drugs in the hospitals they will be no drugs for Bembas; there will be no drugs for Lozis. If the economy is bad; if mealie meal is expensive in Shangombo for sure it will be expensive in Nakonde and it will be expensive in Kaputa. If fuel is expensive in Mongu it will be expensive also in Kasama,” Kaingu said.

“We buy from same shops. If the economy has collapsed, it has collapsed on everybody. The economy has no tribe. It has collapsed on everybody whether you are Bemba speaking, Tonga speaking, Nyanja speaking it has collapsed on everybody. If fuel is expensive, it is expensive everywhere. So it is pointless to use tribe as way of winning votes. So if the economy is down, it is down for everybody. There is nobody who says me I am Bemba aka ka saka ka uga (this bag of mealie meal) is K250 for the Lozis. Me I am Bemba then you can get it at K75. The fuel if it goes up, it goes up for everybody.”

He said only a failed politician could use tribal remarks.
“So, actually I don’t understand because only a failed politician should speak tribally. Right now, my two children are not married to Lozis, we know no tribe ourselves; we have Bembas in our family. It is very difficult actually today to be tribal. I am so disappointed with (Christopher) Yaluma. In fact, he is one of the ministers I held in highest [regard] but I don’t know what led him to speak like that! From what I saw, I don’t think he had a very good audience and support from the people he was addressing; I don’t think people enjoyed what he said. I held him in high esteem, I never imagined he would speak like that. I mean he was in USA. Such exposed people should understand that tribalism has no place in life,” he said.

“You can no longer be tribal here in Zambia because for example (Livestock and Fisheries Minister) Prof [Nkandu] Luo is a first cousin to my son’s wife; my son is married to the first cousin of Prof Nkandu Luo. So to be tribal, you must be very careful today because even in your own home, you have other tribes. So, it is myopic to have to use tribes to look for votes forgetting the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that the country has been integrated. You cannot find the pedigree that this one is pure Bemba or pure what. In fact, are you aware that most of the Bembas that came from Luapula and Northern Province they were coming to marry the Lambas?”

Kaingu said Cabinet Ministers should concentrate on articulating economic policies.

“So, it is nonsensical for somebody to speak in manner that destroys a nation. You cannot speak like that. I am sure that in the royal palace of his royal highness Chitimukulu, there can be other tribes. So there is no need for his royal highness to speak like that and I hold him in highest esteem. I have read his writings, he writes so well on culture and someone who writes so well on culture, I don’t see how he can be tribal,” said Kaingu.

“If you want to cause a disaster for yourself, be tribal. Tribalism is of no use, let us look at the bigger picture! How is our economy? How are surviving whether we are Bemba’s or Lozis? How are we sustaining ourselves? Are we managing? That is what we expect Ministers when the speak, to talk about economic policies, agriculture, tourism; these are the policies we want the Ministers to articulate, not tribalism. The gain is little when you you use tribalism. So there is nothing to be tribal about. All we need to do is that we should be focus in building our economy! Because the economy is fast sliding on us.”