A Tonga warrior welcoming the president.
File picture:A Tonga warrior welcoming the president.

By George T. Sikazwe,
International development practitioner

I cannot write anything about our Paramount Chief Chitimukulu because that would be disrespectful as I am his subject, but the recent press revelations which indicated that the next Government intends to oust His Royal Highness from his reign over the Bemba people of this Republic, made me worried and must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

From our history, the Tonga speaking people are the true owners of our entire land. The rest of our tribes were welcomed to live on the Zambian soil by the Tonga speaking people who never fought back, unless provoked by the in coming settlers. Hence the Tonga speaking people are kind and welcoming.

To advance this argument with facts, we cannot forget that the late former Vice President of this great Republic, Late Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe (MHSRIEP) resigned from Kaunda’s Government on matters of principle. immediately after resigning, he became a destitute with no home to shift to in Lusaka, from the Vice Presidential Government House. At that time, all his political friends, including his own brothers from Lunga/Namwanga and Bemba land, abandoned him for fear of reprisals from President Kenneth David Kaunda.

No one offered him a home to stay in except the Late Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula (MHSRIEP). The brave Late Nkumbula among all odds, offered Late Kapwepwe a house in Libala township, where the former Vice President lived with his wife and children (source – Ms Chilufya Kapwepwe). This again clearly shows the bravery and welcoming kindness of our Tonga colleagues.

This gesture was a significant development on the relationship between the Tonga speaking people and their Bemba counterparts. Coupled with President Kaunda’s advocacy for One Zambia One Nation, today, so many Bembas/Lungus/Namwanga people are married to their Tonga and indeed other tribe counterparts.

To again advance the argument further, Late Baldwin Nkumbula, (MHSRIEP), the son of the brave Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula, was a truly out going individual who mixed among all us Zambian people regardless of tribe. He was part of the young “Turks”, a group of young men who posed a threat to Late Chiluba’s rule. This group comprised among others Late Dean Namulya Mung’omba (MHSRIEP), Derrick Chitala and many others. Even in his death car, he was found to be with Late Castro Chiluba (MHSRIEP), the son of the then Late President Fredrick Chiluba (MHSRIEP).

Therefore the alliances we see today between Bemba Chiefs and their Tonga and Chiefs from all Zambian tribes, has a long lasting history which benefits the entire nation.

Zambia is lucky to have 72 tribes. What we have never tried is to carefully select say Economists from members of all 72 tribes to deliberate and plan an economic model for our country. This kind of bringing diversity of professionals together under one roof, would produce unique, hard to imitate, solid and a suitable economic model that can easily be assimilated for the benefit of the nation and the SADC region.

There is power in diversity and Governments needs to take advantage of this diversity that is endowed by our Almighty God. The current National Assembly is a good example of how we tend to have an increasing quality of debates by our members of Parliament, never seen before in the history of that August House.

Whether you look at the Public Accounts Committee, or the Economy and Budget Committee, there are exciting things happening and one can be sure that Zambia is headed in the right direction and an envy of many nations abroad, due to the unique diversity, that the National Assembly provides to the people of our great nation. But this alone is not enough to turn around this country in the direction we all desire.

Ten years from today, which is 2028, Zambia will be a true unitary state with people united in a manner, without thinking of tribe. This will result from many inter marriages that have taken place amongst all our people and which will continue to happen.

To consolidate this transformation, I suggest that all public institutions that disseminate public information, be manned by a diversity of tribes. If Bemba news or program is broadcast on TV or radio, that news or program must be read by a competent person originating from any Zambian tribe other than from Bemba land. The same should be applied to other tribes and languages presented on public media.

Let us also revert back to a system of meritocracy where all systems are based on merit. To pass and go to university on a Government scholarship, a computer based system must be used to select individuals on merit, as President Kaunda did. All those who think they qualified, must be allowed to lodge in their complaints, if left out by the computer system. To get a job or a scholarship, it should no longer be on which politician in the ruling party you are affiliated to, but purely on merit. This will consolidate our One Zambia One Nation vision and motto.

The embracing of this diversity remains a challenge to President Lungu and many Governments to come after him. In conclusion, Tongas and Bembas are one great people belonging to this great nation called Zambia.

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57 COMMENTS

    • So sad story, so many LATES.
      Why all these died and left us with these who can’t even dialogue?

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    • The Tonga never owned the whole Zambia but the southern province only. Let us not twist history to mislead ignorant people who can’t read

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    • IT IS EXTREMELY WRONG TO ASSERT THAT ZAMBIA WAS OWNED BY THE TONGAS AND THAT THEY ARE WELCOMING. WE BEMBAS ARE MORE WELCOMING THAN THE TONGAS. NEVER DROPPED FROM HEAVEN.
      =================================
      This statement is extremely wrong too.
      “From our history, the Tonga speaking people are the true owners of our entire land. The rest of our tribes were welcomed to live on the Zambian soil by the Tonga speaking people who never fought back, unless provoked by the in coming settlers. Hence the Tonga speaking people are kind and welcoming.”
      Somehow you seem to suggest that the Tongas just found themselves in Zambia. Liar! First settlers does not amount to owning the land. All Zambians migrated from somewhere, Mr fake historian.

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    • The Batwa peoples of Luapula are among the earliest inhabitants of the country we today call Zambia. That is acknowledged in historical writings.

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    • Guys this tribalist attitude we are begining to embrace under the mad PF is so dangerous that it can set Zambia ablaze in matter of seconds.

      It was the same attitude that set Rwanda on fire because the Hutu felt more entiled to rule and control Rwanda to the detriment of the Tusti. And when the Tutsi had enough they reacted. We all know what followed after.

      We must just concentrate on getting rid of this evil PF regime under Lungu by any means

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  1. The article lack logical reasoning. Nkumbula’s personal generosity does not qualify the goodnews of all Tonga people. What about Tonga people that massacred the Bemba in 2016? Secondly, did the Bemba find the Tonga in Northern region of Zambia? Was Zambia in existence when tribes moved up and down? Useless article.

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    • @Lesa wesu
      What a scum bug you are! Idyot. You are focused on what divides the people instead of what unites them! Mother fckr.

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    • Me too I don’t see the purpose of this article other than compare it to general disjointed bar talk.

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    • This is an extremely useless article. I do not even know what the author is trying to relay.

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    • What did the writer hope to achieve by spreading these lies. No two TRIBES will ever change the face of Zambia. All the the TRIBES in Zambia must work to the great being of Zambia. For once can we stop looking at tribe and maintain civility in oneness. I look at you, I see a person with all the body parts with a neutral brain and attitude towards a neighbor until you show me the true colors.

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  2. I am a northerner who belongs to one of the smallest tribes in northern province. However i am ashamed to be associatwd with bembas and how they feel like only they can rule this country. The sooner we get rid of association by tribe via NRC the better. Tribe has been used to hoodwink voters into a false sense of belonging and voting for their own . That is why am proud my madam is from switzerland . My mixed race kids will not be limited or associated by tribe but are citizens of this world.

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    • Mixed race kids, on average suffer an identity crisis. Racial affiliation will remain a challenge for the longest time. Your mixed racial kids unfortunately are potential victims.

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    • @Vanduu
      Take that jungle out of head because it is the garbage that makes you look stu.pid and fo.olish. Did you do any research to reach at that conclusion or you got it from illusions once more!
      Obama is a mixed race “kid” does he suffer from an identity crisis? You are just one of the fo.olish racist mother fckers. Asswhore!

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    • vandu I have taught my kids right from wrong and to stand for what is right. My kids will only suffer if they decide to muntu wandi. They are already high achievers with one been awarded a scholarship recently for his academic prowess. remember that there is a big world out there which is open minded and not as shallow as most areas of zambia. As i said, they are citizens of the world not citizen of kasama or bemba kingdom

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    • Chiluwata, what if I told you yes, I conducted research, would you take back your insults? What does on average mean to you? You are invoking research yet you choose to ignore the very first rule of research.

      It’s to insult. It’s hard to raise the quality of your argument? Obama is not the average.

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  3. I am a northerner who belongs to one of the smallest tribes in northern province. However i am ashamed to be associatwd with bembas and how they feel like only they can rule this country. The sooner we get rid of association by tribe via NRC the better. Tribe has been used to hoodwink voters into a false sense of belonging and voting for their own . That is why am proud my madam is from switzerland . My mixed race kids will not be limited or associated by tribe but are citizens of this world.
    Thank you
    Chief strategist of upnd

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  4. Tell them because they do not know.Bembas never hated Lozis and we got our independence because of the unity existed between Lozis and Bembas.It is these little tribes that are trying to force a wedge between the two Giants.WATCHOUT FOR THEM.

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  5. Nkumbula was Ila not Tonga. Why just focus on Bembas and Tongas, what about the the vast majority of Zambians who are neither?

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    • @Mpendula Kayaula
      Please hide that ignorance of yours – it just shows your shallow mindedness. Do you know that HH is actually Ila? HH is Headman Shaampende of the Ila people. He is taken as Tonga because that is the larger ethnic grouping to which the Ilas belong. Does that make sense to you?

      Please take that stupid of Tribe out of your head – Idyot! We are One Zambia One Nation.

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  6. The Author could have found a better way to emphasize the need for a UNITED, ONE ZAMBIA, ONE NATION rather than resorting to citing 2 ethnic groups out of the 72 that make Zambia without a clear reason!!As @2 Lesa wesu has challenged, WHERE IN THE HISTORY OF ZAMBIA (which is actually a colonial creation) DID BEMBAS AND TONGAS INTERACT DURING THE FORMER’S MIGRATION FROM KOLA and WHERE WERE THEY WELCOMED BY TONGAS and UNDER WHICH CHIEF?? AGREED, WE NEED TO BRING BACK MERIT IN ACADEMICS AND ALL SPHERES OF LIFE but we do NOT NEED TO LIE OR CREATE FALSEHOODS or ENHANCE ETHNIC DIVIDES TO ADVANCE THIS CAUSE!!

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    • That’s why I asked the purpose of this article. Bembas only came to know the Dongas with advent of mine jobs.

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    • I wonder if the writer is truly the person be claims to be. He is trying too hard to hide in those prints.
      A lobbyist, that’s what he is. Please, it will take the entire Zambian tribal groupings to positively change the face of the land. The two TRIBES might just change Zambia negatively, I guess. But yes it is very vital that we come to terms with the Tongas, cautiously though, for someone’s statement that to get to the party’s top leadership that is strictly reserved for a particular tribal grouping, you had to be that tribe just swayed our votes. Not to be trusted no more.

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  7. how did To.ngas welcome other tribes when they were only found in the southern party? who demacated the land for them to know that they were in zambia?

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  8. The artilcle seems well intended….but for:1) The current extent of the republic of Zambia does not correspond with the boundaries of tongaland. Just because they are the earliest inhabitants of SOME parts of current Zambia doesn’t mean they ‘own’ the whole country and besides the barotse royal establishment would have something to say about that and; 2) Which/What next government wants to dethrone mwine lubemba? As far as i’m concerned (as well as many other sane Zambians) the next Government in 2021 will once again be one that will be elected by the MAJORITY of Zambians and REPRESENTATIVE of all tribes, which i therefore dont see removing Paramount chief chitimukulu kanyanta manga.

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  9. I think the author is just trying to clear the air that bembas and tongas are not at loggerheads..it’s only politicians who want to bring the divisions but us commoners we get along very well iv got lots of tonga friends..what is being portrayed by people and what’s on the ground differs..

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  10. The author is SPAKA . This warped thinking is what makes people they have to rule at all cost because they are the tru natives

    Look at usa. Trump is foreigner. True owners are red indians

    We dint find tongas in chipata. It was all bush. No roads. Tongas where in NAMWALA, GWEMBE VALLEY, etc. And there are still there

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  11. I don’t agree with the author somewhat. TO.NGAS are known to be very tribal and selfish people who don’t accommodate other tribes. This is how we have seen them to behave in schools, offices, churches and other social gatherings. I’m Luvale by tribe and these people are my tribal cousins but when it comes to mingling with other tribes they don’t fare well at all. When Ackson Sejani said ONLY A TO.NGA must lead UPND what does that tell you? Chiefs in southern province are anti-government what does that tell you? Ask people like Saboi imboela, Sakwiba Sikota, Kapita, CK, Kavindele etc they will tell you how tribally difficulty these people are. Why is it that the rest of the tribes are never talked against like TO.NGAS? It means there is something bad in their DNA.

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    • Patrick Chisanga the once Kambela royalist got it to his skull when Sejani put those negative remarks on the UPNDEAD political agenda and table. I was never MMD voter. I voted for Anderson, but hey man, Sejani’s words rubbed me the wrong way. I shall live to tell my kids what a sham Sejani’s party that gave birth to double h means. No one in the upndead has ever dared denounce that sick statement. Some how, party members can’t figure out how divisive that sick statement can be. The it’s “Now our time” slogan is equally worse. That time might as well not come to fruition. Amen.

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  12. Politicians are the culprits at the centre of political divisions. this article begs to the injustice contemporary historians are doing to this country. The author is certainly not a historian and only makes some irresolute effort to cry for national unity.As one who also considers tribal talk disgustful I feel not much has been done to bring out the true person of Nkumbula and what he stood for but left to tribal chancers to distort. For instance some myth has it he was actually baptized in luwingu?

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  13. Tongas do not just know what they are fighting for. To start with, the bembas have never prevented the tongas from ruling our country but they just compete like any other tribe. Secondly, its not true that bembas want to rule Zambia alone. The current government has a president from Eastern province and the vice from Western province. The problem with tongas is that they think UPND is tonga and HH is UPND. There is no tribe that is favoured just compete with others fairly instead of crying. 72 tribes is not a joke, you must be at your best to convince Zambian. The other thing is that tongas think that they can only rule Zambia through UPND, just learn to mix with other tribes and believe that you can lead any other political party as a tonga not only UPND. Tongas you’re limiting…

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  14. Cont… yourselves after all hh is not ready to allow anyone challenge him for UPND presidency. Tongas need to think beyond UPND, this party has brought misery to Zambians. All the misunderstandings are as a result of UPND and has caused a lot divisions.

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  15. Reading most comments makes sad, it shows how the young generation are ill informed, the earlist settlers in zambia are the tongas, because they were few in numbers they owned endless land,when the lozi tribe met the tonga chiefs they were fed and told to head west, the ngonis came and the tonga chief directed them to the east, they did this to avoid conflict as they had directed the lozi west. Coupled with population both these tribes expanded their land occupation. The luba lunda did the same in Congo,some of their people heading to south west and east, Nw province and luapula region.the issue here is population growth, i can conclude here that my cousins bembas now do birth control.

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    • And thats you feed your people on. Thats cheap propaganda.

      Do you know history of Ngoni people

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  16. Why are we forgetting the recent past when Tongas dominated every where? Let them just tell us that they have changed which I doubt Let them tell us why they hate Bembas

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  17. This article lacks substance , zambia doesnt belong to one or two tribes never amplify or miginify two out of 72 tribes in the nation .
    We all know that all the 72 tribe groupings are equal and they are people with the same mistakes , do not under value other groupings as they are also contributors to the development our beloved nation at all levels.
    These other groupings deserve the same respect as your favoured tribes however each of the grouping have their strengths and weaknesses , non of them is perfect that is why they need each other to exist as a nation.

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  18. We Lozis, Mambwes, Tumbukas, Luchazis, Lubales, Sengas, Solis etc. Will change Zambia for the better. Do not forget we are a driving force of Zambia’s growth. Please retract this nonsensical piece.God bless the whole of Zambia and Africa.

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    Trying to understand what is written here but I’m struggling to even with an open mind. As article makes conclusions in the middle but ‘complains’ in other paragraphs, contradicting itself… it is indeed all over the shop. How does he know what will happen in 2028? And how does he connect Chitimukulu’s utterances to the rest of what he has written. Oh dear!

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  20. Suppose the boundary didn’t include southern province how were the T….ngas going to be the first settlers in Zambia?

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  21. Forget this writer. He just wants my Tonga girlfriend to feel superior.
    Nizeeeeee!

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  22. Bemba ni wezi wakora wafisadi na wakabila wenye ubaguzi mkubwa. Ni watu bure kabisa .

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  23. Stupid article. Mostly stupid comments. Which ***** can reduce Zambia to bemba and Tonga? Foolish *****s.

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  24. We are different tribes but one people made in the image of God. The challenge we face today is that our political leaders tend to exploit the tribal differences to advance their interests. Remember “united we stand divided we fall”. So let’s not listen to anybody that sows seeds of disunity. History will judge us and God will punish us if we continue on segregating each other on tribal lines, colour or status!! I speak 6 of our languages and settled in a town far from where my parents originated from. None of us chose to be who we are! But this does not mean I don’t value where I come from. I do very much but that will not be the departure point when it comes to politics. This is how it should be.

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  25. I hear all Bembas have gone back to Congo to vote. How true is this information? The biggest problem with Bembas is that most of them are big thieves and they are not honest. The Tongas are hardworking and honest and yes, they were the first settlers of present-day Zambia, so they have a claim to the land, the rest of us are newcomers. God is punishing us for not accepting this fact and giving them a chance to rule over their land.

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  26. Bembas,, Kaonde,, Lamba=Luba empire,, similarities in Names and culture explains all,,Lunda,Luvale,Lozi is a mixture of Kololo and Luyi which is Lunda,=Lunda empire, again there names explain it all,,, Tongas and Namwanga group,,they have a lot of cultural similarities, farming and system of marriage,,

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  27. Majority of the most developed countries are those which know there culture and are proud of there Culture,, we can use anything to our advantage or Disadvantage,, Politicians have calculated the Tribe which has a lot of affiliated small tribes,,henc when the go Tribal they are looking for numbers,, and also want our focus to be on tribe and not providing checks and balances,, we start fighting whilst they become more Rich,, Before Human beings knew God,,they use to worship Trees, idols asking for rain etc, and it would eventually rain,, can you tree answer a prayer? No,, it was God all the time,,but before availing him self he wanted us to learn commitment,, A culture is not evil it is just used as a tool to divide people by politicians

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  28. And No tribe Is superior than another Tribe in terms of reasoning,, cause reasoning is dependent on how you apply your self,, and language being just a medium of communication,, I have restricted my self to associate Tribe to Language because this Is the bigger picture for most people,,Truth Is that Tribe goes beyond Language,,, No your culture be proud of your language in a positive way,, Diversity of ethnic group,,, had made the USA a super power,, we should learn to find the positive side of anything,,and dwell on it,,learn how to make it work to our advantage,

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  29. The problem with Bemba’s is that they are thieves and frankly speaking, they are also tribalistic. Look at how Chiluba, and his fellow Bemba’s raped and even sold the nation by revealing the state house security tunnel system

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