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