A consortium of Civil Society Organisations is concerned that the Patriotic Front has not taken any action against its members in Northern Province for issuing tribal sentiments on Lutanda radio.
The CSOs are concerned with the growing tendency by political parties of mobilizing support from citizens on the basis of tribe and ethnicity which does not only go against Zambia’s social, cultural and ethnic heritage but is also against constitutional values.
In a statement issued on behalf of the CSO’s by Nicholas Phiri, the Executive Director of Zitukule Consortium, the CSO’s are that this tendency is against the principles that seek to promote and uphold national unity in diversity.
The CSO’s are concerned that political mobilization based on tribal lines has potential to ignite civil strife and tribal wars between and among Zambians given the multiplicity and diversity of our ethnic heritage.
“We are particularly dismayed and disturbed by the latest tribal sentiments uttered by officials from the ruling Patriotic Front on radio Lutanda in Northern Province”, read the statement in part.
They said it is even more disturbing that these officials have not been censured or disciplined by the PF party hierarchy as a way of curbing the spread of hate speech and tribal sentiments.
The CSO’s said it is clear that politicians deliberately choose to ignore constitutional provisions and opt to use tribal remarks in political mobilization knowing too well that no punitive measures would be taken against them for engaging in tribal schemes to win votes.
They have urged the Zambia Police Service to apply the law firmly on any political leader promoting hate speech based on tribal and ethnic diversity.
“The people of Southern Province together with other tribes in Zambia have always coexisted, intermarried and conducted politics and business together long before even the PF came on the scene without acrimony based on ethnicity. For this reason, we wish to implore citizens not to buy into tribal politics as that does not and will never improve the well-being of millions living in poverty”, they added.
The CSOs have also reminded Zambians to do everything within their power to preserve the unity in diversity while defending the constitution as provided in Article 2 of the 2016 amended constitution.
The Consortium comprise among others, Zitukule Consortium, Action Aid Zambia, Alliance for Community Action, Care for Nature Zambia, Chapter One Foundation and Center for Trade Policy and Development.