By Sunday Chilufya Chanda
Buumba Malambo’s sentiments leave a bitter taste in the mouth. But she deserves more sympathy than anger because she is a victim of UPND and Hakainde Hichilema’s tribal ideology. Sadly she has been schooled to believe that UPND is a “Tonga” Party and every Tonga owes it a vote! Wrong!
Sadly, UPND was founded on a tribal cradle. These are hard truths being raised in love. Sadly, the culpable often find it difficult to stomach and digest hard truths. This is particularly so when they are uncompromisingly and heretically entrenched in their error. Rather than examine the truth, they swiftly turn their reflex defence into attack screaming “victimisation” as they vilify those citing their erroneous ways.
As an act of respect for Dr Kenneth David Kaunda’s commitment to “One Zambia, One Nation”, an ideology uniting Zambia’s 73 tribes, we expected the UPND leader to publicly denounce Buumba Malambo’s remarks but he will not because UPND is a poisoned tribal chalice.
In the words of late Mozambican President Samora Machel “For the nation to survive, tribe must die”.
But Buumba is only reinforcing a multitude of indisputable facts exposing the tribalism and regionalism at the core of the UPND DNA, that also forms the tap root of Hichilema’s political existence.
These truths have been well documented far and wide facts.
For example, in his book “Institutions and Ethnic Politics in Africa” Daniel N. Posner documented UPND’s entrenched Tribalism when he recalled UPND’s Tribal campaign in the Mbabala Constituency by-election of February 2000. I quote:
“The UPND candidate Emmanuel Hachipuka faced two other Tonga candidates. The fact that they were all Tonga both by tribe and language did not stop Hachipuka from implying that he was the only “real” Tonga in the race. “Tonganess” he (Hachipuka) suggested, derived not from a candidates own background but from a candidate’s party affiliation: he reckoned that since he was the only candidate running on the ticket of a Tonga party, he was the only true Tonga candidate”. End of quote.
It is worth noting that it was not anybody else but UPND that labelled itself a “Tonga Party” and Buumba Malambo has been schooled to think and believe as such.
To be “Tonga” according to UPND was to be UPND, and by the same token to be UPND was to be “Tonga”. This is where Buumba Malambo is coming from and the reason she cannot be reprimanded by Mr Hichilema.
It is a pity that Hichilema goes out of his way to make Southern Province synonymous with a single political party. For him as far as he and UPND are concerned, all Tonga’s are by birth and by default UPND and under an obligation to make him President.
However, we all know that there are good and bad people in EVERY tribe. Thankfully, Hichilema’s tribalism is NOT reflective of all Tongas.
Tongas are good people and they contributed immensely to the independence of our country and its establishment as a nation state. Zambia’s freedom and eventual unity arising out of the “Choma Declaration” would not have been possible without the magnanimity of the great Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula.
What of the great Mainza Chona? Chona and other nationalists broke away from the ANC and, in October 1959, and Chona became the first president of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the successor to ZANC.
Chona, like Nkumbula was Tonga, yet he chose to support Kenneth Kaunda – a non-Tonga. What would OUR Father Mainza Chona make of today’s tribally inclined UPND and its leader?
We could spend the whole day highlighting the exploits of other great national patriarchs arising out of Southern Province. What would great Tonga patriarchs Elijah Haatuakali Mudenda; Samson Mukando; Kebby Sililo Musokotwane make of the “only a Tonga can lead UPND” or Buumba’s mantra?
What would they make of Hichilema’s insincerity? They would truly speak the truth in love and call him out.
So instead of burying their heads in the sand, Hichilema and his tribally configured UPND must confront their tribal roots, embrace change and reset.
The Author is Patriotic Front Parliamentary Candidate for Kanchibiya Constituency in Muchinga Province