A Call for Urgent Action, We Must Fight Tribalism Today and Not Tomorrow

Daimone Siulapwa

A Call for Urgent Action, We Must Fight Tribalism Today and Not Tomorrow

By Daimone Siulapwa

In Zambian politics and now our in our social space, the haunting ghost of tribalism has reared its ugly head, threatening the very essence of our nation’s unity.

Recent accusations against the UPND government of tribal favoritism in appointments, employment, and business contract allocations have sparked a fierce debate, with former PF officials pointing fingers while conveniently ignoring their own historical sins.

It takes no stretch of the imagination to see through the hypocritical narrative woven by the PF.

Blind conformity to their holier-than-thou politics would be a disservice to the truth.

Looking back, it becomes painfully clear that the PF, now on the opposition sidelines, condemns the UPND for tribal practices they once embraced with impunity.

The missed opportunity to continue their divisive rule is now masked by a moral high ground that reeks of political opportunism.

Amidst the harshness of accusations, it is vital to acknowledge the complexity of Zambia’s tribal composition.

With 73 tribes, reducing this diversity to a simplistic narrative of ‘us versus them’ is not just inaccurate but dangerous.

The current narrative suggests a clear distinction between two tribes (Bembas and Tongas) when, in reality, our nation is a mosaic of cultures, traditions, and histories.

As citizens, we find ourselves on the precipice of a tribalism pinnacle, a culmination of years of divisive tactics employed by politicians for their own gains.

The architects of this scourge are not elusive figures but politicians and traditional leaders who, in their pursuit of political relevance, pit citizens against each other based on tribal affiliations.

Tribalism in Zambia is now not only confined to the political arena; it has infiltrated the very fabric of our society. Communities, schools, churches, social clubs, and universities are not immune to the divisive effects of political tribalism.

Left unchecked, this contagion threatens to engulf us, turning our communities into battlegrounds where we may find ourselves striking at each other with machetes.

The repercussions of unchecked tribalism extend beyond the immediate, potentially leading to a future where political parties refuse to cede power, fearing reprisals after electoral defeats.

This ominous scenario looms on the horizon, a dark cloud that demands our immediate attention and concerted efforts to dispel.

The call to action is not a call for tomorrow but an urgent plea for today. The UPND government must acknowledge the prevalence of tribalism within their ranks, as this acknowledgment is the first step toward dismantling the walls of division.

Simultaneously, the PF must confront their own history, recognizing the role they played in perpetuating this cycle of tribal politics.

In response to this crisis, I humbly propose the establishment of a Zambian Citizens Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Inquiry into Tribalism (ZCTRC).

This initiative, driven by citizens, should serve as a vessel for uncovering the truth and fostering genuine reconciliation.

It is a collective effort to put divisive tribal episodes behind us, securing national unity, pride, and integrity for the generations to come.

The ZCTRC’s primary purpose is to encourage active citizen participation in finding lasting solutions to the tribalism problem.

This initiative is an opportunity for constitutional amendments to take center stage, acting as a potent force to discourage and eliminate tribalism in Zambia.

The constitution when amended, should guide government appointments, ensuring representation from all tribes, thereby transforming the constitution into a guardian against tribal favoritism.

My dear patriotic citizens, the battle against tribalism requires unwavering commitment and immediate action.

Let the Zambian Citizens Truth and Reconciliation Commission be our beacon of hope, guiding us towards a united


  1. Well artculated. Actually to go further, Zambian lives are now limited between UPND and PF politically this translate tribalism. PF is perceived bemba and UPND is perceived Tonga. PF don’t want to accept the dangerous tribal seed they planted in the nation and UPND also don’t want to accept that in the process of weeding out tribalism they have also planted another ugly seed.
    That is reason we need urgently a reconciliation commission to strongly deal with this dangerous matter tribalism. There is so much arrogance in both the PF ànd UPND to accept the scourge. This shows that both parties whether in govt or in opposition are not ready to reconcile the nation. The country is truly divided. Imagine PF coming back into govt they will also in turn point fingers at UPND and the nation will never heal. We need to heal and move on.

  2. Ba siulapwa, you cannot compare UPND tribalism to PF tribalism. You only have to look at the recruitment of officer cadets in places where ZAF officers are trained to realize that recruitment is only for people from the Zambezi region. Under PF, lists of those being recruited included candidates not only from the North and East but also from other regions. Today, before an advert for ZRA recruitment is made public, citizens from the Zambezi region who are politically well connected are secretly selected, sent for training and deployed. We are fully aware of what is going on and how recruitment in public institutions has become an on-going thing for those who hail from the Zambezi region.

    • Doc, your comment is irrelevant and non-constructive to Mr Siulapwa’s Writing. Mr Siulapwa has identified the “Cancer” in both PF and UPND, but you are being reactive and blame gaming in a typical “Ostrich fashion”. Who cares if PF recruited a few people from the so-called Zambezi region when the majority Recruted were from their Strongholds? Is the UPND not also recruiting from the non Zambezi regions? It is indisputable that Tribalism in both PF and UPND was rife. What is the Solution? Should we, as a country, always have this vicious circle of “Tribal Purges” of the Civil Service whenever there’s a change of Government? I like CM comment above.

  3. Actually what is interesting to observe is that the Zambezi is more Southern and Barotseland. North western is given the leftovers after south and west have taken the lion’s share.

    • Your observation is very accurate. It is usually Southerners first, followed by Westerners. Northwesterners are at the tails end.

  4. Whenever the issue of Tribalism and Regionalism rear their ugly heads as Topics for discussion, people dig in into their primitive Enclaves. “No win no lose battle”. Typical inherent African Mentality, whatever our education Credentials?


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