Thursday, June 13, 2024

Addressing Tribalism in Zambia

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Tribe wasn’t an issue the day soccer fans went to receive the Chipolopolo Boys at KK International Airport in Lusaka after winning the Africa Cup of nations in February this year

By Rev. K.Kaoma

In “The night without a President,” veteran politician Sikota Wina’s shows how tribalism almost destroyed the new independent nation of Zambia in the late 1960s; forcing President Kaunda to resign for a night. If Kaunda and his friends thought that they had resolved the issue of tribalism then, they were wrong. Today, churches and political parties are still divided on tribal lines as they did then, if worse.

It is sad that even after 48 years of independence tribal identification has become the highest qualification to holding office in our beloved nation and in some cases in the Church. It is sad that at the time when our nation is suffering from the cancer of tribalism, political and religious leaders are doing little to confront it aggressively!

If there is something that “The night without a President” reveals, it is that tribal suspicion has a history in our political discourse. Just as some Tongas and Lozis vowed not to support a Bemba then, the situation has not changed that much. They are some Bembas out there who are ready to vote for a frog than give their vote to HH; reason, teti nvotele umutonga! The same can be said about the Lozi and other tribes in Zambia.[pullquote]Today, we have a choice: to allow politicians to divide us while they make millions, or unite and fight for our equal share as Zambians[/pullquote]

Tribalism is a dominant force in Zambian political discourse. Generally, tribal loyalty and not ideologies or policies determined one’s political affiliation. Even when the party has failed to execute its manifesto as was the case with the MMD, people from the leader’s tribe are likely to vote for that party out of terror of being governed by another ethnic group. Yet the only benefit such tribes receive from their tribespersons is occasional beers, fitenges and salt during the campaign season.

Despite UNIP, MMD and now PF being associated with the Bemba, for example, Northern, Muchinga, Central and Luapula provinces remain among the least developed regions in the nation.

Here, it is important to recapture the fact that Africans understand themselves as a community. Rather than following René Descartes in saying cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am), Africans would say “I am because I am interconnected to my family, community and tribe.”

For Africans, defending one’s tribe is a moral issue. When the MMD and now PF government ignore the plight of the Lozi, even those in the diaspora feel disrespected. Likewise, when Sata demeans HH, the entire Tonga community feels disparaged. HH should also understand that when he degrades Sata, it feeds into the stereotype that Tongas’ are against Bembas. Such stereotypes may energize one’s tribal base but will not win one a national election in which all tribes participate.

Most people believed that the advent of education will make us more conscious of our individual needs as opposed to ethnic ones. The late president Frederick Chiluba, for example, asserted that many people viewed themselves as individuals and not simply as members of some ethnic group. While such an argument has some truth, tribalism should not be underrated in Zambian politics.

No one can deny the fact The United Party for National Development is by default a Tonga party and Patriotic Front is a Bemba political party. The MMD may appear national but in reality, it is still perceived as another Bemba party. With Nevers Mumba now on the helm of MMD, it is not likely that Tongas or Lozis will give him their vote. If HH or Chipimo need to win the 2016 elections, they have to unite all Zambians. Tribalism works to the advantage of the ruling party, hence under the current scenario; Sata’s PF is likely to retain power in 2016 even by a very small margin.

Perhaps it is here that opposition leaders should change their strategy if they want to rule Zambia. Like Barack Obama did in 2008 when he addressed racism in American politics, politicians should address tribalism as a major threat to Zambian democracy. They must give a better vision for a united Zambia where tribal differences are celebrated as the very knots that unite our nation. But to pretend it does not exist or to accuse PF or UPND of being tribal while benefiting from it during elections is self-deception and entombing our nation’s future.

Friends, Zambians are nonviolent but to think that the country is immune from tribal related violence is a delusional. Our leaders should know that tribalism can win one the presidency but it cannot ensure the security or the development of our nation. Demonizing each other will only do one thing; allow politicians to make money on our backs while we are busy fighting each other.

It is time we realized that no one tribe makes Zambia. Like our soccer National Team, we can make Zambia great if we work as team. We need all tribes to win the war on corruption, poverty, ignorance and ultimately tribalism.
Alas, poverty knows no tribal boundaries or identifications. For a common man, being Bemba, Lozi, or Tonga does not put food on the table. Let us put aside tribalism, and fight our common enemy responsible for our perpetual agony – politicians who continue to amass wealth at our expense. Today, we have a choice: to allow politicians to divide us while they make millions, or unite and fight for our equal share as Zambians. Kaunda taught us to shout, “One Zambia, One Nation,” but it is encumbered on us all to turn those words into a lived reality. Next time when we sing our national anthem, let us put away tribalism and become “all one, strong and free!”

149 COMMENTS

  1. There are some tribes that are more tribal than others and this is a fact and everyone knows it. And now others have learn t to be tribal

  2. Without gettimng rid of these dinasors who have been on the political scene since pre-independence days, we will always wallow in a tribalistic environment. The old people are very tribal in all they do and think. Look at how sata has taken us back to the Chachacha days of tribalism. We need a new breed of people who think moderm and economics/ development and not tribe/nepotism and regional hegemony to give them confidence.

  3. “Despite UNIP, MMD and now PF being associated with the Bemba, for example, Northern, Muchinga, Central and Luapula provinces remain among the least developed regions in the nation.”
    “Yet the only benefit such tribes receive from their tribespersons is occasional beers, fitenges and salt during the campaign season.”
    This has always been the problem: pumping a lot more resources in other provinces, build dams, boreholes, roads, fight animal diseases, and what have you, whilst forgetting about northern regions. Farmers are not only in one or two provinces. Because others shout the loudest after loosing they end up getting a lion’s share of the national cake every time, just to impress them. The going must be crazy. Distribute national wealth equally to all provinces this time.

  4. What you have said has alot of sense. Some tribes in Zambia feel that they are more important than others, which is wrong. To some extent it is even difficult to correct their ego thinking. May God deliver them!

  5. dont worry, intermarriages will rid tribalism except for some rigid tribes who do not allow their children to get married to other tribes like…… sorry, I almost mentioned one. Bembas are open to tribal marriages at least.

    • ba miponto comments like yours just make the problem worse.whichever tribe you belong to your contribution should sound as neutral as possible.when you mention one tribe as being good already you are saying that the other tribes are bad.the article is good and solving the problem of tribalism can start from us people who are making these ccontributions here.lets make comments that will help to unite people and not portray others as bad ones.ndelandakofye!

  6. It is indeed worth acknowledging that this article speaks the truth and is very well written. One would hope that those bloggers who are quick to blog on tribal lines will pick up some “common sense” and blog wisely.
    My only critic of the article is that although it explores the real tribes that are at war, it fails to be blatant that tribalism in Zambia is mainly among the Lozi, Bemba and the Tonga. It is important to state the facts when confronting such a divisive issue.

  7. Four decades after independence we currently have a notorious tribe that keep yelling ‘ A Tonga or Lozi will never rule Zambia’. Furthermore a serving cabinet minister openly said in parliament ( of all places) that ‘If Tongas want to stand any chances of ever ruling Zambia they must start marrying bembas’. There are many more demeaning utterances directed at other tribes by this same tribal grouping. Now they are even dreaming of making their language official and it has been reported that it is used officially in state house instead of English. This is the kind of tribalism that will tear Zambia apart.

    • I feel you are contradicting yourself. If there is no intermarriages and Tongas remain tongas, Lozis remain Lozis, Bembas remain Bembas, Nyanjas remain so the net effect over time will be the Bembas will ever be in majority and they will keep winning elections that are based on tribal lines. The suggestion of intermarriages will neutralize the tribal polarity. I think this is what even Miles Sampa meant in Parliament. If you really think through it was not said in bad faith. We can nuetralize tribal inclinations by intermarriages, apart from other measures like clauses in constitution and other paliarmentary legislations.

    • #10.1 HE MCS above, Are insults the only things you have ever known in life? Apart from the insult you have said nothing else and if I’m a fool why don’t you tell us what you are?
      In contrast #10.2 Floyd Chitalu has responded intelligently outlining his views and I respect him for that.

  8. This is the worst article i have ever seen on this site. Tribalism is part of african culture unless u want to remove certain cultural elements. The only way is to intermarry, tongas should find bemba wives but it is unlikely for a bemba or easterner(where the wise come from) to marry either a tonga or lozi, so tonga’s and lozi men the ball is in your coat

  9. @2 Bing What difference does it make? Tribalism is still tribalims whether or not one practices 1% or 100% of it. We must all reslove to practice tribalism. Alternatively, let us all resolve to have none of the vice and create a statute that makes i’ts practice in Zambia illegal. Our problem all along has been that we condem tribalism only when we see it in others and not when we see it in ourselves. From the standpoint of the Bembas, Lozis and Tongas are the most tribal, while the Lozis and Tongas see the Bembas and the Nyanjas as the more tribal. The fact of the matter is that the Lozis overwhelmingly voted for Kaunda, Chiluba, Mazoka, Mwanawasa, Rupia Banda etc while Bembas have vowed never to vote for a Lozi or a Tonga. Whio is more tribal?

  10. @2 Bing What difference does it make? Tribalism is still tribalims whether or not one practices 1% or 100% of it. We must all reslove to practice tribalism. Alternatively, let us all resolve to have none of the vice and create a statute that makes i’ts practice in Zambia illegal. Our problem all along has been that we condem tribalism only when we see it in others and not when we see it in ourselves. From the standpoint of the Bembas, Lozis and Tongas are the most tribal, while the Lozis and Tongas see the Bembas and the Nyanjas as the more tribal. The fact of the matter is that the Lozis overwhelmingly voted for Kaunda, Chiluba, Mazoka, Mwanawasa, Rupia Banda etc while Bembas have vowed never to vote for a Lozi or a Tonga. Who is the greatest and most tribal?

  11. Quote: ‘Tribalism works to the advantage of the ruling party, hence under the current scenario; Sata’s PF is likely to retain power in 2016 even by a very small margin.’..off quote. Hence the reason why Sata and his PF are encouraging it.

  12. Well written, I was told yesterday by one of my visitors saying that the Lozi are the worst in term of xenophobic behavior, if you are not Lozi the call or refer to you like South Africans call foreigners Kwerekwere, there is a name they refer to all non Lozi as well…..I am not Lozi nor Bemba but if this is true…Rev Kaoma we truly need prayers and to speak about it. They equally showed (Lozi) us how they can butcher anyone in the last conflict on the Barotseland saga…

    • You are a tribal sh!t.  Just because you don’t understand siLozi does not mean that Lozis are tribal.  You keep your sh!t to yourself.

  13. I think politicians need to make room for new blood. Strictly speaking, even in the rural areas, to find a person born after 1990 with both parents from the same tribe is rare. We need to create space for the new generation to bring in their perspective on things and drive Zambia in a progressive direction.

  14. Its a good article which should make all of us think whether we are helping build a nation of we tearing it apart with our debates which are based on tribal inclinations. It is worrying to see people reduce everything to ethnic explanations and accusations of an entire tribe!!

    As for leadership and winning elections, one has to ensure that theu identify with all tribes, if they are to enter state House, any other means is only an ilusion!!

  15. Very well said indeed! It is under today’s constitution illegal to use one’s powers to subvert the sanctity of our great country and arguably even treasonable – the appointment of people into public professional and NATIONAL offices/ institutions purely on the basis of party affiliation or worse still tribal affinity to the appointing authority MUST be punished. Exactly that has happened in the last 9 Months and just to howl over these misdemeanours from parliament through state house to the town council; it all amounts to conciuous subversion and conspiracy to destabilise the state…let it all be on merit and therefore be serious in parliament and if need be table an impeachment motion – only THEN will we seriously and openly debate this matter!

    • You have conspicuously nailed it to the core and intuitively lay bear the only survival plan for our fragile Democracy. Humans can only shun subverting the law when confined not to, by making it express as you have explicitly pointed out. Excellent thought!!

  16. Article was ok until you refer to Obama.
    Very uzeless article, why don’t you write some gospel if you are indeed a reverend? I thank God I was born Bemba, but I wish Bembas where more Chinese looking, but keep the size of my instrument.

    • am assuming you would be even more thankful if you were born caucasian!! focus on the value of the person within you rather than your tribal monicker my bemba brother…

    • Nostradamus, yes you may be Bemba, but I think you are at the TAIL END of the NORMAL DISTRIBUTION CURVE OF BEMBA’s with your type of thinking!!!

  17. VERY GOOD ARTICLE, lets remember that at the end of the day we are ll zambias. Actually the onus is on the current president to unite the country by embracing all.. if the national leader seems segregating then other tribes feel left out.

  18. Tribal attacks is not good at all.What we should always bear in our minds is that we are one,we need to live in harmony no matter where we come from.Let us respect each other.How do u dare not to give me water just bcoz am Tonga,Bemba or Lozi?Let us work together to over come this and its only up to each individual to change.

  19. This is a very good article.Rev Kaoma you always inspire me.It is true that tribalism has found deep roots in the church aswell.This is really very bad.

  20. to the author,

    you cant compare Usa to Zambia. the USA is 400 years old while zambia is 48. it not the politicians but the electorate to blame. if zambia had voters whole could think beyond trible lines , the belive me you we could had HH in plot one alogn time ago.

    • On what basis could HH have gone to plot 1?
      HH has not sold himself to the electorate in Zambia at all. Why would you expect the electorate to vote for him.
      I can’t guarantee it, but they may vote for him in future if he comes across as someone with a good ‘light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel’. He has not shown this light yet.

  21. I think the reverend has misses something important that he pretends to ignore and that’s brotherhood.Like somebody pointed out that we are tribal in some way.If mr HH shows leadership and wisdom in his persult for the high office he will do it and no Bemba will object.Zambia is not for Bemba’s but people chose who there felt could lead them.Think about it ,Sata cheated that if he is voted in 90 days Zambia will be different,by a lie Lozis,tongas listened and voted.Who do you bleam for this?Bembas?

  22. Fellow readers, when you wake up in the morning, do you feel Zambian or tribal? Does your tribe arise only when you have to talk about certain things such as tradition, village or culture? Or do these things not just bother you?

    I must confess, I have to work hard to think I am this tribe or I am Zambian or black. I am just me when I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night.

    • To be honest, after PF came to power, I feel more I am my tribe than Zambian. Its not a nice feeling but I cant help it if Zambians even in the diaspora we have began to see each other by our tribes.  We are slowly going to the way Kenyans and Nigerians see each other.

    • @ Zambian woman.
      These feelings may be happening to people in the diaspora, but back in Zambia, we wake up and look outside and we do not see what tribe our neighbours are. Wherever we meet, we do not think tribe. We would not be able to do any business or buy vegetables at the market if we felt that way.
      Bloggers, please stop exaggerating this tribe thing. You can do whatever and be whatever you want to be in Zambia without thinking of tribe. If you think you can’t, then you won’t.

    • Muntukupena
      That is not what I get from other people who I talk to in Zambia. The Lundas, Kaondes, Tongas, Ngonis, Luvales, Lozis, even Ngonis are feeling it

    • i have to agree with Zed woman. i feel it more these days. There was a time when it never crossed my mind, but as i have gotten older i realise that it is quite pervaisive. I find myself feeling the urge to “represent” my tribe due to, in my experience, a widely held notion by some Bemba people that “chalo chabo”

    • I may not be PF’s top fan, BUT WHAT EXACTLY HAS PF DONE TO YOU TO ADOPT THIS BESIEGED MENTALITY????????????? More over, PF WAS STARTED BY ONE MAN, No where has it ever been documented (I may be wrong) THAT HE EVER PROCLAIMED IT TO BE A BEMBA PARTY, except for the fact that he predominantly used the Bemba lingua to conduct his campaigns!! Over the years he learnt that the only way for him to be president was to woo other provinces or tribes (AS PEOPLE SEEM TO BE SO INCLINED!!!) to vote for him , which he has achieved – HOWEVER TO TRANSLATE THIS TO BEING A BEMBA THING is breath-taking! NO ONE HELD A GUN TO ANYONE’S HEAD TO FORCE THEM TO VOTE PF!!!
      SO YOU GUYS BETTER SORT OUT YOUR PARANOIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Good article Dr. Kaoma. My brother you are saying the truth. This tribal nonsese will take Zambia no where. The only solution is entermariage, Bemba to Tonga, Lozi to Ngonis, Lozi to Tonga etc so that we see these guys alaways enjoy tribal talk will be talking about. Great article indeed.

  24. The current solution is for the central govt to cede and devolve power to the local people. Decentralisation and deconcentration is key. The most diverse and successful of nations have overcome their diversities by way federalism. Name the most progressive of nations and the element of devolution of power and localisation of activities will be discovered as playing the most pivotal role. Just why do Zambian leaders just want to be gullible and hold the power of the land to themselves? Let power be shared with the people at all levels and ceded to all regions as a constitutional arrangement rather than at the pleasure of the head of state and the nation will move forward.

  25. Tribalism Haunts HH; ‘Do or Die, A Tonga Must Rule Zambia Whether By Blood’

    OPPOSITION United Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema has vowed that a Tonga must rule the nation Zambia whether other tribes want it or not,
    Hakainde has voed to have a Tonga rule Zambia
    According to Sources within UPND, Hakainde vowed that Sata is the last ‘Bemba’ to rule Zambia.

    The source disclosed that Hakainde had a meeting with Alliance for Development & Democratic President Charles Milupi to plot on how to overcome ‘Bemba’ rule.

    Milupi
    The two plotted to have and use fellow opposition leader Nevers Mumba as a scapegoat in trying to dislodge other tribes from ruling Zambia.
    But what Hakainde and Milupi seem not to know is that no Bemba tribe has ever ruled

  26. lets speak the language” am zambian and not,, am lozi,bemba, tonga, kalubale ila, lenja etc” united we stand,,

  27. @7 you say that: “…..tribalism in Zambia is mainly among the Lozi, Bemba and the Tonga.” I agree, but this is how I would define it: “tribalism in Zambia is Bemba dominance in Zambian politics and how it has been resisted by the Tongas and the Lozis throughout Zambia’s history.” Tonga and Lozi tribalism is nothing other than an attempt by the two tribes to stand-up against Bemba dominance. Otherwise, how do you explain the fact that the Lozis overwhelmingly voted for Kaunda in 1964? for Chiluba in 1991? for Mazoka in 1996? for Mwanawasa in 2001&2005 and for Rupiah Banda in 2008? And how do you explain the Bemba stance of never to vote for a Tonga or a Lozi? And the Bemba zeal to export their language to every corner of Zambia and de-taste every other Zambian language?

    • @Ikandulwa
      I think your comment was directed at me rather than number 7. You have explained in detail exactly what I thought about but it was only after posting my comments. I couldn’t add anymore rather than the fact that the Author should have been bold enough to detail the matrix of tribalism in Zambia. 

    • This is an excellent observation. Many People mistake me for a Lozi/Tonga Tribalist, but really all I do on this blog is reasisting Bemba Dominance. This is why I usually hit bemba’s with such names as Kolwestans as a reaction to how Mumembe (the one who owes Zambians 18 Billion Kwachas) who once called Lozi’s and Tonga’s Bantustans.

  28. Its a well known fact that this tribe full of pompus characters will never rule our mother Zambia. we all know that but always pretend. Not certainly in this generation!

  29. The Reverend has some point but certainly does miss it later in the article. It is not true when he says that all tribes are tribal. Easterners generally have not shown what other tribes have shown. Easterners to me have shown that the embrace every one. Even when you look at the voting pattern, we vote on merit. 

    Easterners are an exception in this. 

  30. Just keep shouting the loudest even after loosing, and the government will end up giving you more resources and have a lion’s share of the national cake every time. Claim the loudest that you have drought, animal diseases, more fertizer, lack of this or that and government will give your region more than other regions. That’s the way we get by, thats how we have alloed it over the time since independence.

  31. This article gives the wrong impression tha tribalism is a zambian problem.While we can’t deny the fact that the issue has gotten worse especially under Sata we should count zambia lucky.Others have it much worse like the Hutu/Tutsi conflagration,the near total Shona hegemony in Zim and the overwhelming political and economic stranglehold the kikuyu have over other tribes.

  32. KK came and left us a unifying slogan of “One Zambia one nation” but how faithful was he to the same slogan? If he was, we would not have found ourselves where we are now. Forget about founding fathers and deal with the issue of tribalism as a serious matter in the manner the article of the Reverend has articulated. Founding fathers were the worst tribalists I have ever come accross. No apologies.

  33. Rev. you should take this a step further start a civic movement or even a party to deal with this scourge. You could also look at fighting the trend of voting for old people for political office.

  34. Without the slogan 1 ZAMBIA, 1 NATION…the big and beautiful Zambia would have dismembered longtime ago along tribal lines..MWAMERA NAIMWE….??

  35. thanks for this article, hope namumfwa bashimweshimwe, I  was a victim of these tribalists in a working environment and the best thing i did was to run away from them. they ill treated me up to a point were i hated all the people from these provinces. by the way my director was from western and my immediate supervisor was from southern. these guyz ill treated me but they say lets forgive and forget . The lesson learnt from this article is that not all tongas, lozis, Bembas, easterners are that bad, it takes some one’s personality and their upbringing in their household. I choose not to tell my children about tribe regardless of what my bosses made me go thru.  amen

  36. The article is a serious eye opener to the current problem. I can assure you that those who have settled in Northern & Muchinga province can testify that it is very easy to live among the typical Bembas in villages. They are simple people who will never give a demeaning name to a person living among them, unlike my husbands tribe.
    However, instead of naming all Bembas as tribalists, we should categorically state that the current president is more nepotic than tribal. Most of the appointed diplomats and ministers are either his or the wifes’ relatives or friends. The Tongas in the process of misinterpreting this situation have developed great hatred and bitterness against all Bembas. This has created suspicion of Bembas by other tribes and this perceived situation must be changed.

  37. @ Mundia,
    I am happy that Tonga’s have fought back against this tribal Tag by the Bemba’s to the extent that this has now backfired against Bemba’s. It used to be only Bemba’s vs Lozi’s and I don’t think Lozi’s put up a spirited fight. But the combination of Lozi and Tongas against Bemba’s is working and now Bemba’s a feeling the stench of being called a Tribalist. I believe we need to have it in our constitution that no one tribe can have a president from their region within four terms. In other words there should be a rotation system whereby if the current president is from Western province then no one from Kwabulozi can contest for the next 3 or 4 terms. This would give a chance to each region to produce a president.

  38. Well written. Some weeks ago i wrote on this site that there people like myself who have embraced the One Zambia One Nation Slogan by marrying from other tribes but we are frustrated by the Old Guards from the 60s who can not shed off this tribal thing.

  39. just work hard !
    no rotation !
    you’ll die in opposition
    like those in ANC !

    zambia should never
    vote into office a tribe
    like tonga or lozi they’ll divide
    the nation!
    Vote lamba ! lenje! lala!
    ngoni! etc

  40. teloleshafye!pliz zambians lets love one another instead of been tribal.I agree will victim.Not all Tongaz and Lozis are bad.I have worked with Tongas and Lozi.By the way am Mwamba a Bemba from mutemba village,Mungwi district.Some tongas r sweet ,some lozis like my friends Akapelwa(lozi) and Mizinga(tonga) are very gud pipo.I have seen bembez who are very bad as well.However,Bembaz r usually gud sweet pipo.But the r a few who r also bad.Pliz dont hatre all Bembaz.Its just politics.There some bembas who hatre
    PF and Sata.But HH should also watch hez languege.SATA should be a last bemba to rule.u just killing yo political life.Bemba r many if the start preaching that to there children.HH will be buried political.pliz stop the nonses of tribal.We luv u.Your Bemba Friend.
    Ali

  41. This whole tribalism thing was being promoted by Fred Mmembe in his personal verndeta with Mazoka and HH. He unfairly painted all Tongas as tribal and they fought back and it has badly backfired on him. Now he is stuck.

  42. @15 Zero Boyz. I can see more tribalism in your post and this makes you ridiculous after one has read a well written article by Rev. Kaoma. You learn to research before you make foolish and embarrasing statements. Lozis are not the only one who have a word that descibes a foreigner. Here are a few examples of what other tribes call foreigners for your shaollow mind:

    – Ba Mwisa (Bemba), Baswamashi (Lenje) Mazwahule (Lozi) Ba Mwizilila (Mambwe/Namwanga) and may others.I hate primitive people like you whose main occupation is to pit Lozis and Bembas on a tribal battle field all the time. If you are neither Bemba nor Lozi what is yoour intrest then?

  43. @ 33, Ikanduwa, plse do not extend tribalism to the zeal of exportation of the Bemba language which has a totally different power of existence. No person is forced to speak Bemba in any part of Zambia, e.g. Harrison Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika and his entire family who were brought up in Wusakile cannot pritend nor forget the Bemba language we spoke together when we were young, even if he is a Lozi prince. I am not Bemba either and yet here in UK and diaspora generally when we Zambians of different language groups meet, the usual common language used is Bemba, Why Mr @33?

    • I used to, but now I answer back in Lunda or English. Never used to be like that but since this new govt i have had to reflect.

    • Peter pan, WHY DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH??????? So you now deny speaking bemba becoz of your so called reflection – YOUR REFLECTION SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN SO NARROW-MINDED!!! If you have any spine in you, DROP ALL OTHER LANGUAGES & SPEAK LUNDA ONLY!!!
      Bembas NEVER COLONIZED OR ENSLAVED YOU, but the Ba ZUNGUS did – SO you ought to have a bigger quarrel with them than us!!

  44. Wise Man @36. Easterners are the worst tribalists especially at places of work. Tell me us where the tribal slogans such as “Wako ni Wako” and” Umodzi Kummawa” came from and what they mean. Please give us a break.

  45. Indeed much has been said, first and foremost i want to say that tribalism is as a result of our fallen nature which does not only exist in Zambia but entre africa and world. Remeber the woman at the well, what reasons did she give when she refused to give Jesus some water? Its tribe (am Samaritan and you are Jew). We are born with corruption and tribalism and these are consequences of sin which are hard to address in fresh. Go to any function you will find groupings using there own language in the midst of a friend who does not understand it and they will simply ignore him/her. Tribalism is not only at presidential level but every where and its in everyone.

  46. @ Rasta, To think that the same Mumembe (the one who owes Zambians 18 Billion Kwacha) who hated Mazoka and demonized him is now sleeping with Mazoka’s duaghter is really really sad. I really don’t understand this girl, is she trapped in the marriage. The man is old enough to be her father, surely he can’t be pleasing her in bed. What is going on??

    • @The Bricklayer,
      Are you sure bloggers want to go on with this rumor mongering of yours? Everyone has the right to be with whoever they want to be with. You can not play God.

  47. Sad, but a reality.

    This is a warning to well meaning Zambians in politics, religious groups and young people  to heed if they are to take the county forward. The key message; the politicians are playing the tribal card to get political power, nothing more. They are not interested in developing the country.

    Zambia, wake up, otherwise you will wake up one morning killing one another for political power. Put someone in plot one who has a vision, and is intelligent enough to unite Zambia and move it forward. Voting on tribal lines is retrogressive.

    Rev. Kaoma, please keep reminding young people especially to wake up before it’s too late, by writing more insightful pieces, assuming they will read them and reflect on them. How many mistakes can the country keep making?

  48. Am grateful, that people from Chief Mwanza in Monze east followed me today in solidarity with my stance that TRIBALIST No 1 IN THE WHOLE WORLD IS HAKAINDE HICHILEMA, HAKAINDE CAN EVEN WIN THE WORLDCUP ON TRIBALISM

    • Your Propaganda wont work. There is no chief Mwanza in Monze east. That is a lie…. You Bemba Kolwestans, you just continue to amaze us. Your Hatred for HH and Tonga’s is sickening.

    • That statement it self is an emotional tantrum rather than based on facts, you are a very dishonest and illogical human being. How can any one come to such a conclusion? Go back to learn a subject that involves data, research and how you draw conclusions.

  49. @ 40 Mbo
    Sam … I concur. KK failed the nation in that respect, much more so considering the length of his tenure. He tended to rule more with his mouth and not his heart or head. A world class hypocrite alright. Any wonder we now have a world class comedian for president!

  50. @ 51 Mbo Sam ….. You point is misplaced here. There is no question that Bemba is a terrific language. I love it myself and wish I were fluent in it. It is not the acceptability of Bemba by non-Bemba Zambians but rather the rejection of other languages by Bembas that is the subject of my concern. A Bemba who comes to comes to buy fish expects me, a Lozi to transact business with him/her in Bemba in not in Silozi, a local language. Most Zambians love Bemba, but there are not very many Bembas who are willing to reciprocate the favour. That, in my view is tribalism.

  51. @ 51 Mbo Sam ….. You point is misplaced here. There is no question that Bemba is a terrific language. I love it myself and wish I were fluent in it. It is not the acceptability of Bemba by non-Bemba Zambians but rather the rejection of other languages by Bembas that is the subject of my concern. A Bemba who comes to Kalabo to buy fish expects me, a Lozi to transact business with him/her in Bemba in not in Silozi, a local language. Most Zambians love Bemba, but there are not very many Bembas who are willing to reciprocate the favour. That, in my view is tribalism

  52. Please let us discuss the issue raised. It is sad that tribalism is still showing on this blog. What is wrong with us that we have no time to sit and reflect? Please tribalists, we need to grow

    • You Bemba’s what have the Lozi’s and Tonga’s done to you that you hate them so much. Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe was a Tribalist and Bemba’s loved him. They Hated the old Lion Harry Nkumbula just because he was Tonga. Tribalism will end in Zambia the day the big group of Bemba Kolwestans start loving other people. I pray for that day!!!

  53. Reverend kaoma, this is a very shallow article supposedly from a man of the collar. Can you tell me why lozis would not vote for Mumba in 2016? For God’s sake stop this hatred of yours against lozis. Stop making assertions that are not based on fact. Lozis have voted for presidential candidates from other tribes even when their own have been on the ballot. Lozis voted for Fred, voted for mazoka in 2001 even when Aka was on the ballot. They voted for Rupiah even when Milupi was on the ballot. Today western province is the only region with 4 parties in parliament. Spare lozis your cheap and tribal conclusions!

  54. Mr. Livingstoen, it so sad that your tribal shallowness is surfacing on this blog. What is wrong with you? In case you don’t understand history, United party was formed in 1966 by the Lozis to oppose Kaunda. One Lozi made it clear, “only the debembanization of UNIP will make it acceptable to the Lozi.” By the way, the Lozi vote has gone to HH more than MMD or PF in the past elections. Facts are facts unless you live in a different universe. 

  55. @What,
    Lozi’s have voted for Kaunda and Chiluba (2 Bemba’s). Tonga’s have also voted for Kaunda and Chiluba. Bemba’s have never voted for a Lozi or a Tonga. They never voted for Mazoka (the one they now call their Hero). They never voted for HH. Northern & Luapula provinces are the only provinces that did not vote for Mazoka when he run. That is what is known as Tribalism. Not these jokes that you are telling on this blog.

  56. We need to talk about this very very openly. KK kept a lid on it through dictatorship. Once we finish all the debate, we shall see more sense for unity in diversity. I hope it won’t last a century.

  57. @. What. Can you tell me what is tribal about what I have written? Is correcting lies tribalism? My dear if you know nothing it is better to shut up than make a fool of yourself. Lozis have never voted enmass for . H. H. Levy trounced him in 2006 in western province. Rupiah trounced him in 2008. Rupiah again emerged winner in 2011. Today the M M D has 10 seats, upnd 4, pf 2 and . A. D. D has 1. By the way it is foolish to quote a statement without telling us the person it is attributed to. Stop your stale lies.

  58. By the way, let me ask, when did banda become a bemba? Just a question to these crazy tribal sick maniacs calling themselves Lozi’s on this blog!

  59. @64. What. Get it in that thick skull of yours that there was no lozi whoever complained that there was bemba domination in unip in 1966. If anything the opposite was TRUE. It is bembas who complained that lozis had disproportionate share of cabinet seats. Things came to a head in 1968 when Reuben kamanga defeated Simon kapwepwe for the position of unip vice president. This was the start of the bemba rebellion . It was during this time that the easterners banded together under the slogan of Wako ni Wako. This was when kk threatened to resign. Reverend kaoma is a liar for bringing lozis into something that had nothing to do with lozis.

  60. Rev. Kaoma, I like your point that “a common man, being Bemba, Lozi, or Tonga does not put food on the table.” At the end of the day, regardless to who is in power, what we need is a better life for us as Zambians, not just an elite few. What is the point of me rejoicing that my tribesman makes it to plot one, if his/her immediate circle is the only one which benefits? Thanks for those words of wisdom. God bless Zambia and the Zambian people.

  61. @.64. What. When Simon kapwepwe failed to dislodge kamanga as vice president bembas broke away from unip and formed united progressive party (upp). And we know the violence that was unleashed by this tribal cabal on the copperbelt. It silly for reverend kaoma to misrepresent history. The night without a president was a fight between kapwepwes bembas and kamanga’s easterners. Kumodzi ku’umawa and Wako ni Wako were the slogans. Please leave lozis out of this rubbish. Reverend kaoma seems to be anti lozi and Tonga. Let’s not rewrite history.

    • Oh dear. United Party was formed in 1966 by Nalumino Mundia. He quit unip after been banished to chilubi island in 1965. His crime was asking the government in a parliamentary debate as to why they were introducing a local government bill that was in essence going to dilute a number of provisions in the Barotse Agreement. Kaunda responded to this question by banishing Mundia to chilubi because he was a ‘security threat’. United Progressive Party was formed by kapwepwe in the aftermath of his losing the vice presidency to kamanga in 1968. Bembas felt short changed.

  62. NO! NO! NO! “They are some Bembas out there who are ready to vote for a frog than give their vote to HH; reason, teti nvotele umutonga!” RIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE THIS IS A VERY POOR EXAMPLE. NOT ONLY BEMBAS CAN’T VOTE FOR HH AND NOT FOR THE REASON(S) YOU HAVE PUT ACROSS. BUT, FOR THE FACT THAT HH OCCUPIED UPND PRESIDENCY ON A TRIBAL TICKET. TONGAS SAID IT CAN ONLY BE A TONGA TO INHERIT MAZOKA WHICH HH FAIL FOR. I HAVEN’T EVEN GONE FAR READING YOUR ARTICLE AND YOU HAVE STARTED LYING AS A WRITER. BE FACTUAL, MAN. EVERYONE WOULD VOTE FOR A TONGA BUT NOT HH. HOW WAS MAZOKA ALMOST WINNING OR WINNING THE ELECTIONS? IS HE NOT A TONGA. CAN ANYONE WIN ELECTIONS IF BEMBAS AND THOSE RELATED TO BEMBAS DENY HIM/HER A VOTE? THE ANSWER IS A CLEAR NO. START YOUR ARTICLE WITH THE TRUTH.

  63. COMING BACK TO THE ARTICLE. YES! THIS IS A VERY GOOD ARTICLE AND I PERSONALLY AGREE THAT ZAMBIANS SHOULD START WORKING ON THIS NEW DIMENSION TRIBALISM GOING ON IN ZAMBIA. HOWEVER, TRIBALISM HAS BEEN THERE IN ZAMBIA, ONLY THE INTERNET AND THE WORLD WIDE WEB HAS MADE IT EVEN MORE APPARENT BECAUSE OF MORE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ESPECIALLY FROM THE PEOPLE LIVING IN DIASPORA. ZAMBIANS, MINUS POLITICS ARE NOT TRIBAL. SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS AREN’T EVEN TRIBES-MATES. IT IS POLITICIANS WHO THRIVE ON TRIBALISM.

  64. MIND YOU UPND WASN’T FOR TONGAS ONLY DURING MAZOKA’S LEADERSHIP. THERE WERE VARIOUS TRIBES IN KEY TOP POSITIONS. IT WAS HH WHO TURNED IT INTO A TONGA PARTY WHEN HE FULLY SUPPORTED THE IDEA OF ONLY A TONGA FOR UPND PRESIDENCY. THAT’S WHY ALL THE OTHER TRIBES INCLUDING THE LOZIS (IF THEY WERE NOT THE FIRST) STARTED LEAVING THE PARTY DESPITE THEIR TOP POSITIONS IN THE PARTY. MUFANA HH ANAONONGA PARTY- THEREFORE, OPPOSITION. AND IF HE WERE PRINCIPLED (OF WHICH HE’S NOT) HE WOULD HAVE RESIGNED TO GIVE WAY FOR A VIABLE MEMBER TO LEAD THE PARTY. THE PLAIN FACT IS HH CAN NEVER WIN THE PRESIDENTIAL NATIONAL SEAT. HIM HANGING ON THE THE UPND PRESIDENCY MAKES EVEN MORE DIFFICULT FOR A TONGA TO BECOME PRESIDENT. IT’S HH ANY TRIBE WILL NOT VOTE FOR AND NOT TONGAS.

  65. #19, WHAT OF THOSE LEADERS OF CERTAIN POLITICAL PARTIES WHO OBSTRUCT APPOINTMENTS TO MINISTERIAL AND CIVIL SERVICE FROM THEIR PART(Y/IES)? ARE THEY NOT CREATING GROUNDS FOR APPOINTING FROM ONLY ONE OR TWO PARTIES? WHAT IS YOUR RESOLUTION ON THAT?

  66. #25, ARE YOU THINKING BACKWARDS? THE TOPIC IS ABOUT DISCOURAGING TRIBALISM AND YOU ARE SAYING HH WOULD HAVE BEEN PRESIDENT A LONG TIME AGO. HOW CAN HH BE PRESIDENT WHEN TRIBALISM IS PART OF HIS DNA. ARE YOU THE ONLY ‘JEW’ WHO DOESN’T KNOW HOW HH BECAME UPND PRESIDENT?

  67. Tribalism is evil and should be defeated. The law should visit all those that try and divide this nation including politicians

  68. #26, EVERY POLITICIAN LIES EVERYWHERE. KK USED TO LIE, TOO. HIS LYING WAS EVEN MORE SERIOUS- HE PUT A FROG TO STAND AGAINST HIM. THAT IS EVEN PUTTING LIES IN WRITING. AT LEAST SATA NEVER PUT MOST OF THE SERIOUS ‘LIES’ IN WRITING- IN THE MANIFESTO, THAT IS. KK, PUT THEM IN WRITING. ONLY YOU COULDN’T HAVE DARED CHALLENGE HIM AS THERE WAS NO DEMOCRACY. IN FACT, MAYBE ONE COULD HAVE DISAPPEARED MYSTERIOUSLY. CHILUBA’S LEGACY WAS TO BRING THE SAME DEMOCRACY THAT THROUGH HIM OUT OF POWER. DO YOU REMEMBER ONE EGG A DAY FOR EVERY ZAMBIAN?

    • I can’t help but ask whether or not you understand what devolution of power is? If indeed you do, where in Zambia has power been devolved and who is now in control of those regions? If you can answer these two points without coming across as deranged, then I must be deranged because it is an understatement that Sata in building a grip on Zambia as dictator.

  69. #30, DO YOU ALWAYS READ CURRENT AFFAIRS IN ZAMBIA. YOU SEEM TO BE IGNORANT ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN TERMS OF TRANSFERRING POWER TO THE PEOPLE. CREATION OF NEW PROVINCES AND DISTRICTS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW THAT IS GOING ON IN ZAMBIA. UNFORTUNATELY, SOME PROVINCES ARE EVEN REFUSING TO BE GIVEN POWERS BY DEVOLUTION ALTHOUGH MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN MOST OF THE PROVINCES HAVE SEEN SENSE AND ARE EMBRACING AND EVEN DEMANDING IT.

  70. #44, YOU ARE VERY RIGHT. I PARTLY GREW UP IN THE NORTHERN PART OF ZAMBIA. IT IS NOW (BY NAMES) I AM KNOWING/REALISING THAT ACTUALLY MOST OF OTHER TRIBES LIVED AMONGST THE BEMBAS IN VILLAGES WITH NO QUESTIONS OF WHO WAS WHO. DO NOT QUICKLY CONCLUDE THAT I AM BEMBA, THOUGH. BUT, I WONDER IF THE SAME HAPPENS EVERY PART OF ZAMBIA. TRULY, TRUE BEMBAS ARE VERY HUMBLE PEACE-LOVING PEOPLE WITH NO OR LESS TRIBAL ELEMENT IN THEM.

  71. #54, THIS IS A WRONG FORUM FOR THAT TOPIC OF YOURS. PATIENTLY, WAIT FOR THE TIME IT WILL BE PRESENTED, IF AT ALL, FOR YOU TO DISCUSS THAT. MAZOKA’S DAUGHTER IS AN INDIVIDUAL WITH HER OWN FREE WILL.NO ONE ON THIS TOPIC IS INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHO’S SLEEPING WITH WHO. GET A LIFE MAN.

  72. This is indeed a very good article by Revd Kaoma. The challenge is for all of us ordinary Zambians to realise that the politicians be UNPD or PF or MMD should not divide us. We know what we want. A better Zambia where our lives and resources will be well distributed evenly among us. The politicians are using divide and rule. Let us unite and vote these tribal parties out of power and vote for tribal balanced party and leader of with a reputable integrity record (proved beyond doubt). I am sure the Lord has one in our nation. A leader who will unite us. A leader who fears the Lord. A leader to whom we can entrust the national resources. We do not need orators anymore because we have had some before and there talking have yielded to nothing.The nation have performed badly when had orators.

  73. I agree with Livingstone on how shall and unfocussed Rev. Kaoma’a article is. Rev Kaoma it seems you did not understand the contents of the small book by Sikota Wina,” Night Without a President”. The Tribal fight in that book was bettween Kapwepwe and Kamanga and no single Lozi was involved. I find it difficult to understand how you can interpret the Bible which is a big book when you have problems with a small book Night Without a President, of less that 500 pages. Your article was aimed at nothing but Lozis in your pursuit of convincing the world that the Lozi are tribalists. You are a Reverend of Satan.

  74. Rev Kaoma. You are a great son of Africa. Me and you have a common view. What is your email address?. We need to do more for our country- its not armies that change the world, but rather single souls of conviction, Jesus, Muhammed, Marx, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jnr, Mandela, Obama etc

  75. @ 73 Peter …. Did you read Bricklayer @65? Your sentiments here are simply non-factual. Bembas never vote for non-Bembas period. Indeed a Bemba would rather vote or a frog than for a non-Bemba.

  76. Bembas will vote for any one , but these other tribes  opened our eyes like this to know distinguish between what is good or bad for them. Its not tribalism but we were taught very well by Tonga’s and aba silozi. Thanks for opening our eyes so widely. Peace

  77. #87 You need to understand why Kaunda was forced to reshuffle his cabinet. United Party was formed by the Lozi in 1966 and after it was banned in 1968, Lozis and Tongas gave Kaunda hell as they  wanted one of their own to be at the helm of the UNIP. Kamanga was a compromise but not the solution. Rev. Kaoma has presented a well balanced article and it is a shame that you are calling him names. Your response shows how shallow and tribalist you are. 

  78. @90. Chiwelele. Please stop creating new history. There were only two candidates for the unip vice presidency in 1966. Kapwepwe the incumbent was challenged by Reuben kamanga. There was no lozi nor Tonga candidate. Stop your foolish and id.iotic lies. Kamanga’s candidacy was pushed by kaunda. Kaunda’s reasoning was that it was unfair to have both the presidency and vice presidency from the same region . Bembas never bought this argument because as far as they were concerned kaunda was not bemba. The night without a president was a night about bembas not accepting the victory of kamanga from ku’umawa!

  79. @ 86 Mabotu “….how shall and unfocussed Rev. Kaoma’a article is…” It shows just how ignorant we are as a nation about the history of our own country. Ignorance, more than anything else stands at the heart of our political and economic stagnation.

  80. There is no tribalism in Zambia, at least not as much as other African countries.
    This tribal talk is more associated with politics than ordinary relations among our people.

    Politically, I would say that we need to change our set up of government. I believe that we can consider adopting a representative form of government where groups are represented in governance issues based on their recognition as natives rather than through elections.

    Elections do not offer the best form of representation because only those with voter support get elected. That support in most cases is tribal, and therefore there are many cases where certain groups in Zambia are not well represented in the governance of the country.

  81. @86 Mabotu “….You are a Reverend of Satan.” Quite a stinging attack on this supposedly scholarly author. But if what you have pointed out is not true, I wonder why this so called “reverend” is not coming out in the open to defend his position?

  82. @ 94 Mighty Worriors: “There is no tribalism in Zambia, at least not as much as other African countries.”…………………………………. You remind me of this: ”
    The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” ….. You are probably in denial. The truth is that tribalism in Zambia is rife and ugly. And yet Zambia is supposedly a Christian nation. At the height of their power, Boers in S. Africa once declared that apartheid was dead in that country. Witty Reverend Desmond Tutu demanded to see the coffin!

  83. The final word on this issue is that Tongas are the best. Everyone else is just jealous that they are not one of us and are therefore inferior.

  84. I may not be PF’s top fan, BUT WHAT EXACTLY HAS PF DONE TO YOU TO ADOPT THIS BESIEGED MENTALITY????????????? More over, PF WAS STARTED BY ONE MAN, No where has it ever been documented (I may be wrong) THAT HE EVER PROCLAIMED IT TO BE A BEMBA PARTY, except for the fact that he predominantly used the Bemba lingua to conduct his campaigns!! Over the years he learnt that the only way for him to be president was to woo other provinces or tribes (AS PEOPLE SEEM TO BE SO INCLINED!!!) to vote for him , which he has achieved – HOWEVER TO TRANSLATE THIS TO BEING A BEMBA THING is breath-taking! NO ONE HELD A GUN TO ANYONE’S HEAD TO FORCE THEM TO VOTE PF!!!
    SO YOU GUYS BETTER SORT OUT YOUR PARANOIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. @ 98 Boxale …..Quite reminiscent of this: “You have eyes and do not see and you have ears and you do not hear, neither do you remember.” Like its predecessor party, Kapwepwe’s United Progressive Party, the PF employs national appeals for non-Bembas and ethnic appeals for Bembas. Again like the UPP, the PF draws almost all its most senior leaders from the Bemba speaking Provinces. It is established as a national political party merely to win support among non-Bemba voters. Otherwise, it campaigns clandestinely along ethnic lines in Bemba speaking areas to shore up its natural base. Any wonder you can assert that PF is “not a Bemba Party!” You are not alone and welcome to tribalism in Zambian politics.

  86. It is not tribe but calibre of an individual that matters. Shame Northern and Luapula least developed in the country but at one time former presidents came from there. What am saying is that they felt covered under the umbrella of the tribe and yet only worked for their families. One thing is to win elections and the other is to deliver and fulfil campaign promises. We want developments create jobs. Get back to work and create living conditions for all Zambians. You are talking too much as an empty tin.

  87. At one time an old politician said baku 6 clock and are mats and the same 6 clock has turned to be the backbone of Zambia economy. (Such will not be tolerated and has been in the mind and sunk in the blood of the people for over 4 decades now. Short-sighted politicians who don’t deliver so is the post has become a month piece of some political parties. It has lost moral journalist ethics and very misleading jornal).

  88. Lets face it Bembas are the most tribal ethnic grouping in Zambia. Many are illiterate or semi-illiterate yet they want to dominate other better educated tribes. They would argue i broken English on what they woult do for Zambians. I am really disgusted by their behaviour.

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