Insala Kapondo (Hunger is Hunger, it can cause someone to go against his own principles)

By Antonio Mourinho Mwanza,

People may pretend and say whatever they want to appear morally upright or politically correct but the truth remains that no one can ignore the potent role that tribe and region play in African politics.

To ignore or pretend otherwise is to be hypocritical to the realities that we face as Africans.

While tribe and region are important demographics in elections and campaigns, tribalism and regionalism are dangerous sentiments that needs to be fought with everything we got.

The world over, demographics such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, education, age play very crucial roles in politics, campaigns and elections and it would be naive and lackadaisical for anyone to ignore this reality.

In the Middle East, Religion plays a central role in Middle Eastern Politics. Most (if not all) Middle Eastern countries make sure that their constitutions, laws and education curricula comply with the religious norms dominant in each society, this has sometimes fuelled sectarian divisions and conflict, like what is currently happening in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen and Lebanon, let alone the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict which has a prominent religious aspect to it.

More than a decade after America elected its first black president, fears of worsening racial tensions are are on the rise with the growing emergence of white supremacism. A poll in February from the Pew Research Centre, a think-tank, found that 58% of Americans think race relations are “generally bad” and 45% believe it has become more acceptable to express racist views since Donald Trump was elected president.

The exit polls by various researchers show divisions across racial and educational groups, too. As was the case in the 2016 presidential election, white men voted Republican by a wide margin (60% to 39%) while white women were divided (49% favored the Democratic candidate; as many supported the Republican). Blacks voted overwhelmingly (90%) for the Democratic candidate, including comparable shares of black men (88%) and black women (92%).

As we edge closer to the 2021 elections we expect to see desperate political shenanigans resort to tribal and regional sentiments to woo and hoodwink voters.

What we should guard against is the dangerous animalistic instinct of some baseless individuals to try to divide and take advantage of us using tribalism and regionalism for their political expediency.

We must summon our moral and intellectual authority and fight tribalism and regionalism with everything we have got for the unity, peace and prosperity of our nation.

One Zambia, One Nation.

Stay Home. Mask Up. Observe Social Distancing. Wash and Sanitize Your Hands Regularly.

The Author is Ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Deputy Media Director, at Patriotic Front Headquarters.


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