Katambi advises church not to practice tribalism


North-western Province Permanent Secretary, Grandson Katambi, says government does not expect the church to practice tribalism.

Colonel Katambi (rtd) says tribalism among church can only occur when the clergy refuse to learn the local languages of the people they are serving.

He said this during the induction ceremony of reverend Chali Kasuma for Kimiteto United Church of Zambia (UCZ) as Pastor of Kimiteto Church in Solwezi district.

Col. Katambi has since urged the newly inducted pastor to learn the language of the local people.

” I know tribalism in church, Reverend Kasuma, you have to know the local languages. Does that pain you? ” he remarked.

He said the same message also goes to all civil servants working in health facilities and schools.

Col. Katambi said this is so because for them to be understood well and to deliver the required services, they must know the local languages of where they are operating from.

“There is no way one can be here for 20 years and then you tell me that you don’t understand ichitundu (meaning I don’t know the language) …but we are one flesh. So, for you to deliver, you have to understand the language of people where you are serving,” he said.

Col. Katambi has therefore called upon the church to unite and avoid tribalism.

He also called on the members of the Kimiteto UCZ congregation to support their newly inducted pastor so that he can achieve his vision for the church.

Meanwhile Col. Katambi has urged the newly inducted Pastor to take full charge of the Kimiteto congregation and allow the light of God to shine to the Kimiteto community through his good deeds.

He said the people’s lives can only be transformed when they have a shepherd who leads by example.

And Col. Katambi said it pains him to see people from the same church discriminating against each other when it comes to job opportunities based on tribal affiliation.

“It pains me. Somebody comes with a recommendation…he is a church goer leaving someone who is well qualified just because they come from the same area…leaving someone who is well qualified, well disciplined…then you ask them can you justify this they will not tell you, ” he said.

And speaking at the same occasion, Bishop Moses Gondwe, called upon government to concentrate on service delivery and not politicking.

Bishop Gondwe said it is now time to deliver the much-needed development to the people.

“We are looking for a time when the leaders of this nation both in government and opposition will know when it is time for elections and when it is time for service. That you have deprived us. We hear people talking every other time…. we hear people defending themselves every other time,” he said.

He said the people of Zambia are interested in services that will make them become better citizens.


  1. This has been the problem in this area. I remember Dr Ludwig Sondashi chasing away trainee nurses at Solwezi General Hospital for not being able to speak Kikaonde. To be on the safe side institutions and churches should send there only people who are already familiar with the local language. Kudos to the Bishop for the frank talk.

    • Col Katambi is on firm ground and I support him in total. What the N-W province PS is saying is the history of Christianity in Zambia. European missionaries who brought Christianity to Zambia learned the local language of every area they went to. Why not today’s clergy who are our fellow Bantu language speakers with whom we actually share some names and words? I reject in total that some languages should die due to state and religious policy.

    • It seems you just have natural hatred for me. I have not attacked the former Upnd NPW chairman. I have infact sympathized with his situation. But there you go barking like a rabid dog.

  2. You are the same people promoting tribalism.
    There are expartriates working in Kalumbila, Kansanshi and Lumwana. They do not speak local languages. Are they tribalists? NOO NOOO!!! It is just advantageous to learn the local languages but it is not mandatory.
    The official language in Zambia is English Sir.

    • But it’s not English some local languages are being replaced by. Expatriates at Kalumbila speak languages that are not close to Bantu languages. They therefore face unique challenges in learning African languages but those who have been in North-Western province long enough do speak.

    • Blacks know only to drag each other in the mud. When foreigners are beaten up in Jo-burg the Germans, Indians Japanese, Arabs are never touched

  3. Why are Lundas and Luvales still at loggerheards even though they all speak each others languages? You must spend more energy addressing them. Thats were tribalism is. Not here in Solwezi. Solwezi is now a cosmopolitan town….just like Kitwe. No one forces anyone in Kitwe to learn Ichilamba.

    • Obviously you do not know the difference between language chauvinism and tribalism. They’re not the same thing but I do understand the Bantu language problem at hand because they have not developed enough to differentiate between between language and tribe, between state and government etc.

  4. Tribalism is what Katambi is doing. The Church knows its flock and their shepherds. They have more important considerations whenever they deploy their shepherds . It’s tribalists like Katambi and the Nsakwa ya ba Kaonde that ordered local radio stations to stop playing music in other tribes. You can’t force people to learn your language. If you want others to speak your language be proud to use it yourself. So don’t export your tribalism to the Church. Shenke yobe

    • Col Katambi is not promoting tribalism. He just doesn’t want the Kaonde language to die out in its natural habitat. That will become a form of colonialism and is not acceptable.

    • I speak Ki Kaonde not because I’ve lived in Solwezi but that I was neighbours with the proud Kaonde who weren’t shy to speak their language. Many of us learned the language from them, just like si Lozi. This was on the Copperbelt

  5. TRIBALISTS are the LUVALES AND LUNDAS who still want to keep fighting and hating each other in this mordemn world. Why why??? If you care Sir as provincial head ,you should go and educate your tribesmen about this . I still remember how they nearly slaughtered each other at the delimitation meeting just a few years back. Chairs were used as weapons. Shameful!!

    • You do not educate people by denouncing them. What the Lundas and Luvales are doing, Canadians of British and French heritage still do it in Quebec province. It’s not really hating each other but a recognition and fear that there’s a culture and heritage that is at risk of dying out if the language is allowed to slowly die. It has led to conflict in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and India.

  6. Why do these people bother going to church if they have a hidden agenda? Who are you to demand or impose a tribe on a congregation? Ushe why do black people hate themselves like this?

Comments are closed.