PATRIOTIC Front member of the central committee Paul Moonga has defended Malole PF member of parliament Christopher Yaluma’s tribal remarks against the people of Southern Province, saying the lawmaker only said the facts of life as they are.
Recently, Yaluma, who is also Commerce Minister, launched his re-election campaign at Mumba village in Malole constituency, Northern Province, where he charged that Tongas did not want to see any other ethnic group in Southern Province.
“UPND, chinama nshi? Mwe bantu imwe mwe benda, ako mufwele kukanwa akalembelwepo PF, teti upite mu Southern Province naufwala, baka kuma. Namu bus tawa ka ninemo. Ta kwaba ukulumbula ishina ya PF nangu party imbi. Aba bantu baishibana fye beka beka. Tabafwaya. Takwaba nangu umo MP ku Northern Province, Muchinga, Luapula, Central Province uwa UPND. Except ku North-Western Province and Western. Bushe chinshi GBM afuminamo? Bali itemwa. Taba fwaya ukumonaumutundu umbi kano umutundu wabo. Lungu akawina pantu ifyo alebomba fikulu sana. Naine nkawina. Ulya umbi umulumendo akafwa, nangu fye mu 2080, nga kafikako awe akafwa ne chikonko…(What animal is UPND? You people who travel, the PF face mask that you are wearing, you can’t pass through Southern Province, while wearing that. They will beat you, you won’t even board the bus! There is no mentioning the name PF or other parties [in Southern Province]. They just know themselves. There’s not even one MP in Northern, Muchinga, Luapula [and] Central Province who is UPND, except for North-Western and Western Provinces. Why has GBM left UPND? Because they love their own and don’t want to see any other tribe unless their tribe. Lungu will win [in 2021] because he is working. I will also win. That other gentleman, even in 2080 if he will be there, he will die of grief),” said Yaluma, who was widely condemned by fellow politicians and netizens.
But responding to calls for the need for PF to discipline Yaluma in an interview, Moonga argued Yaluma did not say anything wrong because he only stated the facts of life in his utterances.
“But those are facts! Imagine Paul Moonga putting on a PF t-shirt in Southern Province just because I come from there, you think they will leave me? Those are facts of life. Because even in my movements in Southern Province, I have to be mindful. So, Honourable Yaluma was teaching his people about masks, but also warning them to say, ‘don’t go to Southern Province wearing a PF mask where you know you will be in danger.’ That was not tribal, tribalism is there in Southern Province. Tribalism in Southern Province is real, you can’t go to the market in Monze wearing a PF t-shirt or chitenge. There, it’s not like here in Lusaka where Kabwata, a PF stronghold, UPND people are allowed to wear the party regalia freely,” Moonga said.
“In Southern Province, it’s different; they want everybody there to belong to UPND! That’s why to this day, some people still call me a traitor just because I decided to work with the PF, they wanted me to be in UPND just because I am Tonga. But that is not the Zambia I want to live in, and definitely, that is not a party I want to associate myself with. Look at the combination of the PF government, we have all the tribes represented. The current Inspector General of Police, where is he from? The Bank of Zambia Governor, Dr (Denny) Kalyalya, where is he from? Even the immediate past Inspector General of Police Mr Simbotwe, he was from Western Province. So, there is no tribalism in PF and this is what Honourable Yaluma was trying to tell his people.”
When asked if the PF central committee would take any action against Yaluma for his remarks, Moonga said the matter had not yet gotten to the attention of the party’s highest decision-making body, but insisted that he saw nothing wrong in Yaluma’s remarks.
“As central committee, we haven’t received any formal complaint against Honourable Yaluma for those remarks and I don’t know what the party secretary general, Honourable Davies Mwila, would say about that. But for me, I can defend Honourable Yaluma, he was only stating the facts of life,” said Moonga.
By press time, Mwila’s phones went unanswered.