By Sara Imutowana Yeta II


Tongas are the most dehumanised people in Zambia.

Their dehumanisers are PF Bemba tribalists.

The consistent dehumanisation of Tongas in the past two decades was made prominent by the tax evader with a newspapers business that was closed down by Lungu and perpetuated by PF Bemba tribalists making me to appreciate Tongas’ disposition.

I envy Tonga’s spirit of endurance in the face of open prejudice making them seem less Zambians and human.

Their ability to resist and withstand the wounds and trauma of being dehumanised speaks volumes about the virtue of endurance embedded in the Tonga culture.

Their ability to put up with adversity, pain, discomfort and dehumanisation in a way that allows them to maintain their poise is a virtue to be emulated.

I also appreciate Tongas because they have remained peaceful in the face of State sponsored dehumanisation project headed by Kambwili a shaman of tribalism.

It takes a good culture to bring up peaceful citizens even when their dehumanisers show it clearly that they hate them like Adolf Hitler hated Jews.

In the face of dehumanisation, Tongas have remained calm, non-violent and friendly something that sets them apart.

If Tongas were irascible or choleric and not longsuffering, we would have no country to talk about because all methods that cause genocide have been used to provoke them to rise in arms and cause anarchy in Zambia and justify genocide against them.

However, Tongas have continued to exhibit a unique internal and external strength of non-conflict where their desires seem to be of harmony couched in the national value of peace and unity.

How Tongas manage to control their feeling of being dehumanised wantonly without retaliating, remains a cultural phenomenon that needs to be understood and tapped into to enhance our national values.

Tongas are not only peaceful but long suffering.

In spite of the systematic dehumanisation of this group, they have continued to exhibit a virtue that seems to have perfected their appetite to continue in good action over an extended period of time.

It is not an accidental behaviour that Tongas are long suffering but it says it all that their culture is rich in the value of constancy when facing difficulties.

My prayer is that no matter what dehumanisation Tongas face at the hands of PF Bemba tribalists, they may continue to endure the tedium of prolonged dehumanisation because it is one of the best ways to win dehumanisers over to unity though easier said than done.

As a result, this makes me wonder the depth of the social, physical, emotional, spiritual and historical impact of dehumanisation caused by PF Bemba tribalists on Tongas.

Tongas’ trauma and wounds of dehumanisation may be deeper than imagined.

We need a government able to initiate systems reform to create safe and supportive spaces through culturally responsive programming targeting both dehumanisers and victims, otherwise we may be sitting on a time bomb because the first step to genocide is dehumanisation.

In conclusion, I have no doubt that Hakainde Hichilema would unite the country because he knows the pain and trauma of being dehumanised based on his tribe. Therefore, together with stakeholders he can put in place a national cohesion plan and enforce the law to ensure that no person or tribe goes through the dehumanising experience of Tongas.


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