By: Col Hamwiinde Munamunungu
For many years scornful people have been all out calling or labeling the UPND as a tribal entity. This was because the Party was led by a Tonga from inception.
I recall that years in history, Nalumino Mundia had formed a political party against the Kaunda led UNIP. That party, UP, was labeled tribal just because Mundia was Lozi. The ULP of Sakwiba Sikota was never considered tribal because it was an annex of the PF and was without teeth to bite.
There are several Bemba led parties in this country than any other ethnically led parties but these are never classified as tribal.
Agreed the UPND has had no General Elective Assembly since 2006 when HH was elected as its second President replacing the late Anderson Mazoka.
This prolonged delay in holding an Assembly was not healthy for the party in its administration and organization.
Many leaders in the National Management Committee were nominees or appointees of the President. These did not enjoy the support of the members of the Party and therefore not accountable to them.
This 2021 General Elective Assembly has remedied the yawning gaps in the establishment of the Party. The party now belongs to all Zambians across the country and therefore fully representative.
Left alone the four day assembly throughout the country was extremely peaceful and orderly. This shows the maturity and discipline of the party members and therefore need to be congratulated for this.
Seventy members have been elected and thirty more are to be nominated by the President to bring the total number to 100.
It’s hoped that the President will again keep his promise to balance the Management by filling in the obvious deficiencies, through more female representation, persons of mixed race, if any or the minorities or persons from special sectors ( like the physically challenged, defense and security, religious, trade unions, civil society organizations, just to mention a few).
This done, we wait to see where tribalism label will come from. We know that tribalism doesn’t mean more Tongas in the NMC but just because the man at the hem of the Party is Tonga.
Going round the breadth and width of Zambia you will find that there’s no tribalism because the various tribes coexist in their villages, compounds, towns and cities without any tribal conflict.
It’s the top management of one Party sowing seeds of discord through allegations of tribalism which doesn’t exist.
We hope that the new management team will start working right away. There is need however to look for those who might be compromised from the word go.