9.5 C
Alba Iulia
Thursday, December 9, 2021

Bally’s Cabinet Pick Shames PF Tribalists

Columns Bally’s Cabinet Pick Shames PF Tribalists

By Dr Parkie Mbozi

One of Shaka Zulu’s famous quotes says, “Never leave an enemy behind, or it will rise again to fly at your throat.
Shaka was not educated, but no doubt very wise. His message in this quote is worth taking serious, especially for the new government of the United Party for National Development UPND).It is also a message for the party leader and now Republican President Hakainde Hichilema. Reconciliation and forgiveness are good, but so too is reparation.

The people of the sole-called Zambezi province, I call them the Tongas and their allies, faced the worst form of systemic ‘ethnic cleansing’ at the hands of the Patriotic Front (PF) in government to the extent that as long as one’s name was associated with ‘Zambezi province’, there was nothing for them in form of (top) jobs or contracts for tenders, promotions, respect, etc. in government and parastatals. Promotions would be denied and retirements in ‘national interest’ were also the order of the day.

Sadly, this mentality and the tone set by the PF leadership permeated various sectors of society, such that names associated with Tongas and their allies were considered misfits, in the same way that Jews have been treated in parts of the world, starting from the time of Adolf Hitler in Germany in the past century. I remember vividly moments when our son Hamwenda would come back weeping because he had been bullied by his colleagues at school, all because of his name. One day he came home from school and asked, dad, ‘why do they hate us so much’? It got to the point that he asked if the “Ha’ to his name could be dropped so that it would only read as “Mwenda” That’s just how bad it became.

Today there are many who believe that had the PF won the 2021 election, Tongas and their allies would have been forced into the bush, akin to Winnie Mandela’s desire to “drive the whites into the sea;” Unfortunately for the PF tribalists, Tongas and their allies are self-made people. For decades now, since 1998 when the UPND was born and every Tonga labeled UPND, they have survived and thrived on their own. They are not the type that line for jobs, even now in Bally’s Zambia.

Yet against the background of hate and discrimination, God spoke. And a week ago, President Hakainde Hichilema (aka ‘Bally’) appointed a cabinet that even his critics have called a ‘well-balanced’ cabinet. ‘Balanced’ in the sense that all provinces and major ethnic groups see themselves in it.

Veteran politician and former Veep Enock Kavindele told The Mast newspaper, “It’s been a carefully chosen Cabinet, encompassing all regions of Zambia. The President has done it; no wonder it took him so long to come up with his Cabinet because he was doing all these things.”

Mind you, in this ‘balancing act’, a number of deserving Tongas and their allies who stood tall, toiled and sacrificed for the party and Bally for years, have been sacrificed yet again. Have you heard them complain? No. Yet, for years the PF tribalists labeled Bally tribalist and his party, the UPND, a tribal or regional party. Fred Mmembe and the Post Newspaper, an influential PF ally of the PF at the time, even called Southern Province a Bantustan.

Chishimba Kambwili, PF’s hired tribal goon before the elections, was all over the country claiming that if HH and UPND won, all positions would be filled by “HaHas” (sic), in his own words. He could utter these claims without the shame of how PF’s own appointments in cabinet, permanent secretaries, directors, boards of parastatals, etc had been systematically mooted to sideline and ‘punish’ Tongas and their allies. Even for the eight appointed MPs, Lungu appointed the likes of Mumbi Phiri, Bwalya Ngandu, etc other than to co-opt other tribes with even better expertise. For Instance why Ngandu instead of Mugande or Hyvie Hamududu for Finance Minister?

Bally’s cabinet appointments confirm what I published in July this year in this column in the article titled, The Arrogance of Insulting a People and Expecting Their Vote.

Here is what I said, For the information of those without capacity to read political history, though some call themselves ‘Dr’ Chakuti, Tonga’s are not tribal nor selfish. In 1959 Mainza Choma founded UNIP but ceded power to Kenneth Kaunda once he was released from jail. In 1953 ‘Old Major’ Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula and his ANC had to team up with Kaunda;s UNIP to defeat the colonial party and win our independence. In 1972 Nkumbula again ceded power and signed the unity accord for a one party state even though he didn’t have to. He didn’t even take any post in the unified UNIP government. That is how the fierce rivalry between Kaunda and Simon Kapwepwe, whose base was Bembaland, eased. Legend also has it that when the freedom fighters were invited to London to negotiate our independence, Southerners sold their cattle to make the trip possible.

In 1991, Southern Province gave Frederick Chiluba, a Bemba, 100%. Again in 1996, even with his incarceration of Dean Mungomba and Princess Nakatindi Wina et al and, worse, barring of Dr Kaunda from standing, Southern Province still gave Chiluba another 100%. Further, in 2001, 2006 and even 2011, there were other Tonga presidential candidates, the likes of Shamapande, Magande, etc, but the non-Tonga – Rupiah Banda and Michael Sata – still got better votes than these Tonga candidates.

So, if the Tongas and their allies decide to have a share of the political cake, what’s wrong with that? And, if the Southerners and their allies see quality in candidates other than yours, what’s wrong with that? The same hypocrites’ keep saying Anderson Mazoka was the best man for the job in 2001 but fall shot to state which regions failed him. Did you hear the Tongas and their allies accuse certain regions of tribalism? Before blaming people’s choices, answer in honest, who had better credentials and personal accomplishments for the job between Lungu and Hichilema in 2015, 2016 and even now?

Finally at a personal level, come and see whom we live with, whom our loved ones are, whom we do business with, whom we employ on our farms, homes and businesses. Come and see whom we have children with, whom our friends are, etc. HOW DARE YOU. By the way, why have you failed to publicize your commission’s report on voting patterns?”

In contrast to Bally, Lungu run a government of hate and ethnic cleansing in both words and deeds. Just to cite a few examples, before the 2021 elections ECZ suspended PF cadre Chishimba Kambwili “for systematically campaigning on tribal lines and for hate speech.” ECZ said, “the Commission has noted with concern the breach of the electoral code of conduct by Mr. Kambwili’s use of hate speech and holding of campaign rallies despite the guidance provided.” However, with influence (ostensibly) from above, Kambwili’s suspension was to be lifted within days.

I proffered in the article I cite above that Kambwili;s tirade of hate speech against the people of Southern Province was not an isolated case. Demonisation of ethnic groups that didn’t agree with them was in the PF’s DNA. Founder Michael Sata once called the people of North Western province ‘buttocks’. In 2015, way before the 2016 general election, Davies Mwila – then PF Secretary General –insulted the people of Southern province. He refused to apologise and his boss President Edgar Lungu refused to admonish or fire him.

Chama said, “Tongas will never rule the country, unless maybe in 100 years’ time if they multiply themselves since they were polygamous by nature.” He uttered these words simply out of hate for Hichilema, their political opponent. Later the same year, Chama boasted that Lungu was a very strong person who resisted the pressure to fire him over his Tonga remarks. “President Lungu is the strongest person I have ever met in my lifetime because ine ngabali kolopa kale (I would have been mopped out already). You remember the problems I brought to the President and the party about the Tonga issue? Although I didn’t do it, the media was bombarding and the President was under pressure, but he is such a strong person.”

Despite the calls to the President to fire him, Chama survived and was rewarded with the Presidential nomination of MP and subsequently appointed Minister of Defense, a superior cabinet portfolios. Kambwili, then chief Government Spokesperson, arrogantly told the Southern province chiefs that Chama had refused to apologise so they should kill him if they wanted.

On 25th July 2016, while campaigning at Kabundi ground in Chingola, the same Kambwili was on a warpath telling the crowd that “Tongas in Southern Province only vote for UPND and tribesman Hichilema with a view to being ruled by a Tonga.” Ahead the Chilubi by-election in February 2020, Nkandu Luo, who became Lungu’s running mate in 2021, told voters that there was no way a Tonga from Monze would come to ‘pyana’(replace) her, a Bisa. The rant was indirectly targeted at the UPND candidate, a local, but was in apparent reference to Hichilema, the UPND leader, who hails from Monze. Hachilema was not even on the ballot.

On 27th July 2019 Lungu said, “We will one day have a Tonga President but certainly not the current aspirant.” Richard Waga, a blogger, answered back: “President Edgar Lungu’s sentiment that one day a Tonga will be president but not UPND President Hakainde Hichilema are condescending, tribal and divisive. He is telling Zambians that tribe is a factor when choosing leaders. He is telling Zambians the electoral system is not open enough for anyone to aspire for office. He is confirming the tribal narrative we hear among some PF flunkies who hate the idea of a Tonga president.”

Hate, discrimination and ethnic cleansing were the PF trademarks. They were clueless, statesman-less politicians, who had no clue that when you target to victimize a people, they coalesce as a survival strategy. They had no clue how to pull the country together and woo voters other than by force and deceit. They tried to mask their unbridled tribalism by calling others tribal and slogans such as One Zambia One Nation on ZNBC.

So says the bible, ‘you shall know them by their actions.” Indeed Zambians can now see and contrast the difference between Lungu’s PF and Bally’s UPND on leadership. Hence I proffer that Bally’s cabinet pick has shamed them, if at all they have shame. Yet, it is worth remembering Shaka’s wise words, “Never leave an enemy behind, or it will rise again to fly at your throat.”
These people and/or their ‘sniffer dogs’ are still occupying strategic and sensitive positions in government.

The author is a researcher and scholar with the Institute of Economic and Social Research, University of Zambia. He is reachable on pmbozi5ATyahooDOTcom


  1. These tribalists must be the likes of Kaizar Zulu…the article is a well aimed bullet at their low IQ tujilijili foreheads.

  2. Start quotation: “Hate, discrimination and ethnic cleansing were the PF trademarks.” End quotation. This discussion is a disguised form of xenophobia. It is unacceptable to discuss political behavior by joggling names of election winners and losers. It is bar talk. It is cheap political propaganda. The way to deal with regional election outcomes is to conduct research or record podium discussions. An elected leader must win the hearts of the majority, regardless of ethnic or linguistic background.

  3. Another useless doc. Ministers want to work not dwell in the past. A lot of people have moved on if anything its very wrong for to make judgement based on aug 12 outcome which i would describe as a PF out vote. lets wait and see how things unfold as they govern

  4. KK the only time he officially stepped his foot to southern Province was when madam thatcher came to Livingstone. He didn’t because of tribal sentiment since “Zambia one night without a president “. In 2016 general elections Namwala Saga was a demonstration of ethnic politics. In lack of unification factors especially in sensitive politics pf had difficulties to trust Tonga origins. e.g attitude of hamukale and others. Looking at public offices, the so called people of Zambezi covers over 53% on strategic positions regardless of ethnicity.
    Away from, ethnicity mirror, tribal societies should be removed and do away with it fully. And don’t discuss it with any respect it deserves because still tribalism is real.

  5. This is real kaka nonsense , ethnic cleansing ??? you stretch the imagination too far. Being denied a job to you is equal to ethnic cleansing / Do you really know what the term means ?

  6. The moment lungu dubiously won the pf president and eventually became the republican president every standards of government began to drop ; he never had unity inscribed on his heart, he was an emotional thug with his sight purely set on vengeance… his conduct was a recipe for division he conducted himself in a very irresponsible way that was not befitting a head of state.
    You can judge him by the trail of scandals his administration left, really it was a trail of disaster.

  7. Last week or so someone featured this subject on LT. I wonder what Mbozi wants or he’s run out of writing material. In my opinion he’s the actual tribalist because the topic has been dealt with and now it’s stale.

  8. I personally think this is low stuff of an article. Democracy is not about “triumphism”, but about responsibility and accountability. Elections came and went, work began for the new dawn admin to heal, unite, build and develop. It will never be time to evoke emotional or psychological hurts. What is the point of the article?

  9. Am struggling to understand the point of this, “moan” – at this juncture!! Mister, you appear to be seeking to stoke up resentment and trouble retrospectively. UPND won the elections, the people of Zambia – not one tribe, spoke with one voice and ditched what they didn’t like. Now, let them move forward as a united nation. People are looking for development and improved livelihood; not tribe this, tribe that, rhetoric!

  10. The Mbuzi fixation with tribalism is jaw dropping. If this is your passion , start educating people in the HHphilic provinces to vote for other parties as well.UPND won seats in other provinces. How many MPs does PF has in the HH provinces?

  11. Mbozi is a hard core tribalist. He sees everything with a tribal lens. While the whole country is starting to see HH as a president for Zambia. Mbozi sees HH as a Tonga man, Tonga president. If I reads between the line Mbozi is bitter that HH has other tribes in his cabinet, hence his ‘Tongas been disadvantaged’ . He plays with their idea that since the HH is Tonga, more from his region should have been taken on. He talks of 1991 vote for Chiluba as a favour of Tongas. Yet we know that the highest number of No votes for KK came from Southern from southern Province. Even in 1991 they gave a big No to KK which turned into yes for FTJ.

  12. Look how they are holding the bibles high just saying in their mind that we are rich in two months in office !!! lol.

  13. The Mbuzi fixation with tribalism is jaw dropping. If this is your passion , start educating people in the HHphilic provinces to vote for other parties as well.UPND won seats in other provinces. How many MPs does PF have in other provinces?

  14. #12_27 I am also wondering what motive of this article. Maybe Mr Mbozi isn’t happy with the way positions have been apportioned….wants more of his people in cabinet and a token offer to the rest.

  15. What is it that you disagree with Mr Mbozi’s article? @C. Musonda says “Would have loved to read a much more grounded arguments in this article. Alas!” In my opinion he has written a well articulated article with evidence of the tribal bias of the PF leadership. I detect in Mr Musonda’s short comment a certain amount of shame in the behaviour of his Bemba politicians promoting tribalism. Historically, the Tongas have been here longest. The rest of you are newcomers. There is no way the Lungus, Nkandus, Chimwilis, Mwilas of this world can continue to marginalise a large ethnic group in this case the Tongas and their allies. Remember Rwanda and Biafra which were the result of tribal hatred against an ethnic group. Mr Musonda why don’t you denounce the real tribalists from the north?

  16. 1. Mbozi! Your child came from school crying that why do they hate us. That’s Lie. Shame on you for using your child. You have sunk so low.
    2. Lungu tried to extend his hand to work with Southerners, but HH blocked his MP’s
    3. In August 2021, without people from Northern, Eastern, Muchinga, HH would not have won. Therefore appreciate what other tribes have done
    to rise above tribalism agendas
    4. HH refused time and time to openly to denounce the: Only A Tonga Can Rule UPND
    5. Harry Nkumbula was an alcoholic, that’s why KK had to take over. Every time they travelled to England to push for Independence, Nkumbula
    was spending more time drinking.
    6. Tonga’s, are not complaining. Actually, behind doors they are complaining bitterly. That’s a lie !!

  17. Ba doc,in case you didn’t know, we have a new president in State House and his name is His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema. ECL and his PF were soundly defeated at the polls,so they have ceased to be an issue now. What we need to do now is to stop dwelling on the past because this will not help us but to start offering the New Dawn government checks and balances so that it fulfills its campaign promises.

  18. The truth of the matter is that Mbozi is not happy that HH has not formed a cabinet with Tonga being the majority. He is angry because HH has given jobs to former PF and MMD Members and left out people such Silva Masebo, who once ridiculed UPND when she was in PF. He is angry because people like Wynter Kabimba have been mocking Tonga’s that they are not good enough and that’s why HH has brought back PF and MMD Members. He is angry because late comers such as Anthony Bwalya have scooped top jobs in the regime. Mbozi should be writing to HH expressing his sadness and bitterness. In Zambia we don’t have kids who play tribalism based on surnames. Yet he opts shamelessly to use his child as a fake example. This guy is a used toilet tissue. What the hell is this all about?

  19. The author is sulking up to HH in search of a political appointment since Mwamba has been recalled, Mukwita has been recalled etc. He is blowing up his imagination about PF hates as fantasised by a bootlicker desperate to be noticed. Let’s focus on developing the nation and empowering its citizens

  20. No need for such articles. Tribe is not a qualification. No one chooses which tribe to be born in. Tribe is not an achievement. Can we move away from such talk. It helps no one. Some of us have married across so called tribal lines and we don’t appreciate people who keep on trying to throw around the tribal card, Stop it!!

  21. I find the article very balanced and easy to read. We need to look at PF time in government very serious and study the consequence. Professional people from the northern bloc practiced nepotism and victimisation if Tongas on a large scale. Like what was happening at KCM.

    History s important, that is why is studied and convulsions or lessons usually are learnt. We need to dwell on this and ensure it does not happen again… we can not walk away from the deaths of Mapenzi, Vespers, that ZAF officer killed at woodlands police, etc without finding justice. It may be uncomfortable but will be dealt with.

    All those people who were unfairly dismissed or terminated employment will be equalised and there will be levelling.

  22. This is the most tribalistic article I have ever read….this is trash. HH is as tribal as Lungu. Just look at the election result percentages provincially. And then look at the key and most trusted of his key appointments… a mirror of Lungu’s appointments. A tribalist like HH and Lungu wrote this article

  23. I agree with the writer on this article on some pointers they have made. However this write up lacks objectivity and impartiality.

    This author should have looked at the genesis of tribalism in Zambia in the last 20 years.

    During the 2001 general elections did MMD try to decampaign late Mazoka on tribal talk????

    In 2006 Madyekunku and other UPND senior members said, “Only a tonga should replace Mazoka.” And this is according to a report by George Chellah at the post newspaper on the 7th of June 2006.

    So UPND themselves somehow triggered this tribalism for themselves which led to politicians using the 2006 news story against UPND.

    However PF were wrong to escalate it and tarnish all tongas to be tribal.

    So let’s not just blame PF for the tribalism we have seen in…

  24. UPND are now a governing party. The sensible thing to do now is to legislate against this sort of behaviour. Make it unlawful to discriminate on tribal lines with jail sentencing as punishment. You are busy baking up the wrong tree on gay rights when bigger issues such as tribalism, nepotism and corruption are treated with kids gloves.

  25. This is potholed article from a psychopath. your little brother a teacher at unza is also a psychopath but he authored sensible article. How can you call it ethnic cleansing when public service and many public institution administrations are largely run by tonga and the lozi people. Tribal balancing cabinet is nonsensical. The working cabinet can never be a function of tribal balancing. President Mwanawasa was called family tree governance, but yielded great economy. President RB wako ni wako but we know he left a stable economy. If HH had wanted he could have selected to nominate his family. Mbozi you obtained your prolonged PhD at age of 60 so I don’t blame you. Conduct a proper review from transformative bureaucracy of the Zambian governance – which tribes dominated governance…

  26. Conduct a proper review from transformative bureaucracy of the Zambian governance – which tribes dominated governance structures. You are very s.tu.pid mbozi. Let me tell you this, HH is more popular than UPND party, and it is very easy for him to get another popular vote but have upnd shrunk back to Southern. If you can’t see what I am saying, use principal component analysis and any other suitable mathematical modeling to analyze.

  27. Ba Mbozi, I have a different narrative. Instead of labelling PF tribal, should allow reality to dawn on you and thank the people of Northern, Muchinga and Eastern province for rising above regionalism and create a compelling situation for HH to form what you are calling a balanced government. In fact the signs have been there in the previous elections, where UPND got reasonable figures from the same region even if they did not win, a far cry to the situation in Southern Province as long as one of theirs is on the ballot. I tell you right now that what happened in those regions can never happen in Southern Province under the same circumstances.

    I am very proud of my region for showing that finger to the likes of CK, GBM, etc., instead of parroting the “Only a……..can take over…

  28. Well, of that is a Zambian PHD, we are in serious trouble. Critical thinking is a must and our learned colleague in his article above displayed none at all. President HH even shocked me with his well balanced cabinet. Some might be recycled, but that is the beast that is Democracy and politics. This article needs to be retracted and replaced by a well crafted Zambian one. As an all inclusive one.

Comments are closed.

- Advertisement -

Latest News

Fight against Corruption in Zambia seems not to be yielding effective results-Action Aid Zambia

ActionAid Zambia has said that the fight against corruption in Zambia seems not to be yielding effective results as...

More Articles In This Category