United Party for National Development (UPND) has welcomed president Lungu’s directive on tribal remarks.
In a statement made available to the media today, UPND Party Secretary General (SG) Stephen Katuka said his party UPND hopes that his officials will respect it and stop misinterpreting it to launder themselves from the tribalism statements they have been making.
Below is the full statement
17th January 2016
Lungu’s ban on tribal and hate speech
We welcome the remarks by President Edgar Lungu calling on his PF Government and party leadership to stop hate speech and tribalism.
We however hope that his officials will respect it and stop misinterpreting it to launder themselves from the tribalism statements they have been making.
We hope it will not be another of those usual rhetoric orders he issues after something has backfired but still continues with the same vice underground.
We have so far heard too many statements from President Lungu condemning violence but the exact opposite is still being done by a number of his thugs.
To date, our leaders can hardly move around the country for party mobilisation activities as they risk being physically attacked by PF thugs or state sponsored police brutality that resorts to teargasing, shooting, and arresting our members.
As UPND, we always want to concentrate on issue based politics of addressing challenges our people have been going through such as high cost of fertiliser and other inputs for farmers, power cuts, increasing inflation rates resulting in high cost of living, job loses and lack of job opportunities for our people, especially youths and the general economic meltdown.
This should form the hallmark of our debates in the country rather than trying to divide our country through fomenting tribal divisions and hate speech as a way of diverting attention from real issues and hope to win votes.
In fact we would have expected President Lungu to go further and urge those who have uttered tribal remarks such as Information Minister Chishimba Kambwili, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, PF Secretary General Davies Chama, his deputy Mumbi Phiri and others like Chairperson for Information and Publicity Frank Bwalya to unreservedly apologise as a way of showing remorse.
Regrettably, it is clear from the statements made so far by Chishimba Kambwili and Frank Bwalya that the duo does not agree with Lungu’s directive and are now explaining it in manner that tries to absorb them of being guilty of their tribal remarks.
This means that Chishimba Kambwili and Frank Bwalya have completely ignored Lungu’s directive and are unlikely to change or the President has completely lost his authority and he cannot discipline the two gentlemen. This does not surprise us. His directive to immediately review the Public Order Act was similarly ignored by those he tasked to do it.
Lungu must also direct public media houses such as Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail, ZNBC to be responsible enough and guard against being used but must promote national unite by accommodating divergent views and feature other players fairly in their coverage.
UPND Party Secretary General