Socialist President Dr Fred M’membe has issued yesterday issued a statement on his Facebook page addressing the ongoing debates surrounding tribal politics in Zambia. In the statement, Dr M’membe sheds light on the accusations being made against Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND over tribalism and the recent debates around the issue.
Dr M’membe points out that the reason for these accusations could be the promises made by Mr Hichilema and the UPND to have a tribal and regionally balanced and representative government.
However, as Dr M’membe notes, critics are now asking whether what they are seeing aligns with what they were promised. He goes on to list key positions in the government and key state institutions, including the judiciary and key government ministries, and highlights that the Tonga and Lozi tribes appear to be heavily represented, with very little or no meaningful participation from the rest of the tribes in the country.
Critics are questioning the representation in key positions of the government and justice system in Zambia. The President, Vice-President, Speaker, Chief Justice, Acting President of the Constitutional Court, Attorney General, Solicitor General, and Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission are either Tonga or Lozi, with very limited participation from other ethnic groups. The same pattern can be seen in the key government ministries, with Tonga and Lozi holding the majority of the positions.
The situation is even more pronounced in the defence and security agencies, where there is a lack of representation from the East and North regions, despite promises of a balanced representation from the political leadership. The Electoral Commission of Zambia also reflects this trend, with the chairperson and vice-person being Lozi and the remaining commissioners being Tonga, Lozi, and Lunda, with no one from the East or North.
Critics argue that this concentration of power in the hands of just a few ethnic groups undermines the diversity and fairness of the country’s institutions and justice system. They are calling for a more equitable distribution of key positions across all regions and ethnic groups in order to ensure a balanced representation and a just society.
Dr M’membe also raises concerns over the representation of tribes in key defense and security agencies, pointing out that there is no one from the East or North in these positions, which is not in line with the political leadership’s promise to keep the tribal and regional balance. Similarly, Dr M’membe raises concerns about the lack of representation from the East or North in the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
As Dr M’membe notes, these concerns are being raised, but the response has been to label those raising them as tribalists and divisive elements, and to prosecute or persecute them on charges of tribal hatred. He states that this is putting the multiparty political dispensation back in the spotlight, as the concern is no longer about the lack of political pluralism or diversity but about the hijacking of the political processes by tribal politics.
Dr M’membe notes that the challenge to the multiparty political dispensation is not the prevalence of ethnic diversity but the use of identity politics to promote narrow tribal interests. He argues that the African experience over the past six decades has shown the dangers of ethnic competition and underscores the importance of building nations around ideas rather than clan identities.
Dr M’membe points out that in the absence of efforts to build genuine political parties with clear ideologies that compete on the basis of ideas, tribal identities have become the foundation for political competition. He argues that leaders are often exploiting tribal loyalty to advance personal gain, parochial interests, patronage, and cronyism.
Dr M’membe argues that tribal practices are occupying a vacuum created by the lack of strong multiparty democratic institutions and that political parties are unable to find common ground through coherent party manifestos and ideological positions. He notes that many members of the political parties often don’t even know that their parties have manifestos, which are only issued just before the elections as much of the effort goes into regional manoeuvring and building tribal alliances.
Dr M’membe notes that tribal politicians are clever and calculating, quick to dress in the latest fashion and co-opt emerging trends to preserve their identities. He argues that their sole mission is self-preservation, with the side effect of subverting multiparty democratic evolution.
The way forward, according to Dr M’membe, lies in concerted efforts to build modern political parties founded on strong ideological foundations, clear development ideas, and not tribal bonds. He argues that political parties must base their competition for power on ideological and development platforms and that defining party platforms will need to be supported by the search for ideas, not the appeal to tribal coalitions.
Dr M’membe concludes by stating that political parties that create genuine ideological and development platforms will launch initiatives that reflect popular needs, while those that rely on manipulating ethnic alliances will bring sectarian animosity into government business by appointing people from their tribes and allied ethnicities to key government positions.
Mmembe ‘s write-up is more detailed because he’s even listed institutions and who heads them. He only left out permanent secretaries. He’s a good analyst. Read it on his wall
Yes. Crystal clear with facts. Good analysis also on how tribalism finds it’s way into a party.
Good thing is no one cares. Just a very tiny irrelevant minority. People just want a developed country and that’s what’s being worked on. Only tiny minds with no alternative economic solutions will make noise about this nonsense. Shall we grow up bane.
Good analysis my foot. He needs to mention and prove who appointed those people. If it is UPND then we will know they are tribally influencing public service. Yes first prove this. If its UPND and the President the age-old argument arises: about who is supposed to appoint civil servants. Zambian presidents have been abusing this.
They intrude so far as to appoint Permanent Secretaries, Board members, Commission members etcetera. People are supposed to apply for these jobs when advertised or be promoted into the jobs. Never should Public/civil servants be handpicked because thats where tribalism and nepotism will sneak in. To fight tribalism or nepotism we should stop the President(and his party) from appointing civil servants.
So ba Membe the argument should be about abuse of institutional powers especially by the President
Why is it easier to say Bembas are thieves than to say Tongas are cattle farmers?
It’s just one of those silly jokes that Bembas are thieves. It’s the Tongas that are big thieves and deserve to be in the Guinness World Record as no one has broken their record of theft of 2 million animals from railway wagons
We Tongas do not steal. Read your damn history. We have always had more cows than any other people in Southern Africa. The Ndebele stole cows from us; the Lozi/Kololo stole cows from us; the Bemba stole but could not raise they cows they stole from us. The Ngoni stole cows from us. Do not quarrel with me. As Francis Coillard who documented these facts in his 19th century books. We are honest; we are industrious, hard working, and that is why we have fed all of you for almost 60 years. Where did 2 million cows on an alleged train come from? The only people who have any sizeable cattle are in Botswana, and their cattle go south. Only people who come from a stealing culture think stealing is the way to go forward, We Tonga never sold anyone into slavery. None of you can say any of this
Iwe Ayatollah 2 million cows? Zinalikuyenda kuti? Two million cows could feed the whole of Zambia
There Dr Mmembe as laid it clear.you say opposition is not providing checks and balances and then comes a minister of information with a useless statement and she still has a job.
Published On January 19, 2018
MINISTER of Information and Broadcasting Services Kampamba Mulenga yesterday unveiled Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia boards of directors with a call that they help turn around fortunes of the two public media organisations.
The board of the Zambia Daily Mail comprises Geoffrey Simukoko, Maureen Nkandu, Winstone Siwale, Simon Mwale, Gillian Mwaba, Chanda Mulenga, Nebat Mbewe (company’s managing director) and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Godfrey Malama.
The Times board has Gideon Mwewa, Mabel Mung’omba, Nikiwe Simpungwe, Horace Longwe, Bwalya Mwila, Nkusuwila Mbao, Lydia Mpepo, Bestone Ng’onga (company’s managing director) and Mr Malama
YES, THAT IS WHY WE VOTED THEM OUT, NOT TO HAVE THE SAME NONSENSE REPEATED BY ANOTHER GROUP!!
There should be no tribal balancing at this level. Tribal balancing is in political appointments-not professional appointments. You people have let Kaunda die without learning anything from him
The only people yapping about tribalism are Kambwili, Chilufya Tayali and Mmembe. Three !d!ots.
Yes the three dimwits. Trible remarks were being used in campaigns BUT alas it did not work. STOP TRIBALISM which yards to no good. Embrace ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION where every feels NOT marginalised on tribal lines.
Let’s look at the whole public sector from cabinet ministers, parastatal heads and permanent secretaries etc and compare it to PF.
You miss the point that there was no way HH was going to leave out elected MPs from outside the southern province from the Upnd. Lungu appointed ministers from Upnd strongholds. These ended up being expelled from the party. Same with nominated MPs like Hamukale…they were being jeered all the time. But of course you can’t see this.
THERE IS NO NEED FOR COMPARISON, PF PAID FOR THEIR SINS BCOZ ZAMBIANS WANTED TO BE RULED BETTER!! THE BEST IS TO ADMIT A MISTAKE OR REAP THE SAME HARVEST THAT THE PF GOT AFTER SOWING DISCONTENT!!
@Deja Vu Zedyatu has answered you well. Im waiting for your response
@Zedyatu you’re so right. Nowadays we dont need to complain about tribalists. We should just wait for five years and remove them. Perhaps five years is too long. We should reduce it to four years.
Like @Deja Vu has said, if PF had MPs in UPND Strongholds, they were going to be appointed to cabinet! People like Nathaniel Mubukwanu was Minister from very start to end of PF rule, the same with Given Lubinda and Ba Mama Inonge Wina. HH seems to have balanced cabinet because this time he has some MPs from Copper belt, Lusaka, Eastern and Northern Provinces which PF never had in Southern, Northwestern Provinces!
@UmuNegro…I don’t think this is question that requires an answer from me. He’s stated that PF blundered and have since paid for it.
This chap is a serious tribalist who can cause war. Since when did the Vice President, speaker, chief justice become Tonga or Lozi. And even if they are Tonga or Lozi, what’s wrong with these tribes holding high positions. So, whenever these people from these tribes are appointed, then it’s tribalism but when those from the north/east regions are appointed, then they are good well deserved appointments. Don’t forget where we are coming from, where tribalism was full blown under the notorious PF gang. So, Meembe, your tribal campaign, which you started under your Post newspaper, will never succeed in Zambia. Most of your Bemba tribsmate have rejected tribalism and it’s only you, Kambwili and a few other PF gangstars remaining with this dangerous mentality
M’membe heads a political jostling for power. Let him unveil his potential cabinet from the team of people he’s working with.
People who promote tribal divisions are playing with fire.
My question is why does LT print those articles so gleefully and help perpetuate it.
LT is a very irresponsible publication.
Please people of Zambia remember Rwanda of the 1990’s and their genocide.
With these people spreading hatred and LT promoting it, it could be only a matter of time before blood will be flowing in the streets of Lusaka.
LT these articles are NOT news but HATE speeches.
Dr Mmembe is on point. What is happening is a situation whereby one is practicing an insult and goes on to say that it is an offence to mention the same insult (The case of using hate language..WTF) …That is being overly stupid. This rot must end.
Dr Fred M’membe calls a spade a spade and not a big spoon. This is holding the bull by its horn. Thanks for highlighting the naked truth and treading the ground where others dare not step. BMW promised to deal with perceived tribalism in the PF but has failed by taking it to the higher level never seen before. All the chaps in the media who hail from the three Zambezi provinces have been sent in foreign service.
Total lie. Member does not believe that up to now Tribalism will never win him any election? Is the Cheif Justice Tonga? Is the Vice President Tonga? Is Ali Simwinga Tonga? Look at all the PS and Boards. Let him produce a list of names not just mentioning institutions. In PF it was even in their constitution and it was ok for Fred and his minions
There is no tribalism under UPND, you only see it when you choose to wear the wrong lenses. One Zambia One Nation. Tribalists are just Carmbwili and Car-iza
Why do you fish for tribalism, even going to check the tribe of each appointee, that very act of you checking each appointee is tribalism in Itself, make no mistake. Stop it now and focus on objectivity.
He went check because he wanted to see if HH was living by his promise!! Most of the Zambia get cheated when they see a cabinet with people from all regions because they do not know that what runs are technocrats. Even UPND was checking names and regions of origin for PF appointees in public service so it is not new, it is part of democracy and part of checks and balances!!
It takes a thief to catch a thief much as it takes a tribalist to detect a fellow tribalist. Let us be one Zambia one Nation.
These opposition leaders need to take a deep reflection on their approach to national matters. What your would-be electorates would like to hear is what you are going to do should you be given a chance to be Presidents, though very unlikely for any opposition leader in Zambia currently. This issue of just picking negativities and perceived negativities on the ruling party does not help. Look at that drama the PF SG put up yesterday on Diamond TV. Is that the right temperament for a leader, and the party is talking of rebranding. Just how. Do we need to take our leaders for public appearance orientation. Very Sad
kambwili, meembe, chilufya cant see the sun without taulking about tribalism. Great tribalists!
I don’t think there is tribalism in the current government, but I also think it takes a thief to catch a thief.
Who is not tribal in this country?
Mention one person in Zambia who is not tribal?
None, we are all trible to the bone!
What we say is balancing.
Even in schools and other workplaces, we must be employing Teachers and workers by balancing, for it is not only cabinet that should balance.
Even in marriages to.
Which politician in Zambia has adopted a child who belong to another tribe?
Im not. I grew up in Kitwe. There was no tribalism around me.
Speak for yourself. There are many of us who are not tribalists
This guy made a mess up with the Post newspaper. Now he is talking about leadership. Whe he even failed to run such a simple organization. But just enriched himself. Very funny
Shocked, discovered Eastern province has only one minister in UPND government- Peter Phiri Provincial minister. Mutolo Phiri is from coalition arrangement, its only ONE. Kwamana.
Membe seem to be experiencing mid-life political crisis. The guy has realized that he has no hope of ever becoming president. He has now resorted to inflammatory lies. Let him provide list of all provincial and ministry permanent secretaries, list of heads of all public institutions, cabinet ministers and lets compare it to PF.
Like someone has pointed out those are not supposed to be appointed. They are promoted by the Public Service Commission
Husband to winter kabimba forget about the position of the president you are too tribal mmembe.To have ugly face is a problem, people this man resembles chipazi.your post paper promoted tribalism but failed to sellout.
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