By Charles Malawo Kambole
The PF and its politicians have for sometime used tribalism to create fear and mistrust among Zambians as a means of divecrting people’s attention from the real issues of providing jobs and means of livelihood.
The PF has sadly promoted and encouraged ethnic hate speech among Zambians. Many Zambians have been made to believe that there are some ethnic groupings within Zambia, which are politically exclusive of each other. PF for whatever reason has for instance worked very hard to sow seeds of political disunity between the Northerners and the Southerners. The tactic of promoting tribalism and hate speech by PF could be similar to the one used by the Adolf Hitler leading to the German halocaust in which the German jews were almost exterminated.
Below is an outline of the political collaboration to which the PF has played a blind eye.
In 1951 Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula recruited into the ANC Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, Robert Speedwell Makasa, John Malama Sokoni and Kenneth Kaunda. In 1953 Nkumbula facilitated for the appointment of Kaunda as National Organising Secretary of the ANC.
In 1958 a group of young politicians led by Mainza Chona resigned from the ANC to form ZANC which was later outlawed in 1959 and most of its leaders arrested and jailed. The name of ZANC was changed to UNIP with Mainza Chona as its interim President.
In 1960 Kaunda became President of UNIP after being released from prison in Salisbury, Southern Rodesia. This was after Mainza Chona voluntarily relinquished the Presidency for Kaunda.
Following the legislative Council elections of 1962, UNIP led by Kaunda obtained 14 seats while Nkumbula’s ANC got 7 seats. The two went into a coalition government to keep out John Roberts’ UFP who had 16 seats. Nkumbula’s action was a clear demonstration of his desire to help UNIP to form government which later led to independence in 1964 with Kaunda as the firsr President of Zambia.
At the 1967 UNIP congress, Kapwepwe defeated Reuben Chitandika Kamanga for the position of Vice President. Kapwepwe’s campaign was mainly spearheaded by the Southerners. Mainza Chona was also elected Secretary General as he belonged to the same team with Kapwepwe. The election of Kapwepwe, Chona and others did not go down very with certain quarters within UNIP.
Northerners and Southerners were accused of conniving to unseat UNIP. The mistrust that ensued after the 1967 UNIP elections compelled Kapwepwe to resign from the Vice Presidency in 1971. With this followed a mass exodus of mainly Bemba Ministers from the UNIP government. Those who resigned along side Kapwepwe were Justin Chimba, John Chisata, Jameson Chapoloko, Musonda Chambeshi and Robinson Nkaka Puta.
Again it was Nkumbula who offered Kapwepwe and his family a sunctuary in form of house accomodation in Libala Stage 1, Boli street. Nkumbula again demonstrated his love for his fellow Zambian from the North.
Following his resignation from UNIP, Kapwepwe formed UPP in 1971. Kapwepwe was arrested and detained indefinetely. While in detention, he contested and won a parliamentary seat in Mufulira’s Kankoyo. This act sent shivers into the UNIP camp who feared that Nkumbula and Kapwepwe had planned to merge their parties with a view to unseat UNIP the general elections set for 1973.
The fear of Nkumbula and Kapwepwe perceived merger thus set the ground for the imposition of the one party dictatorship by UNIP in 1973. While the UPP was outlawed, Nkumbula’s ANC was persuaded to sign the Choma Declaration through which the party was swallowed by UNIP.
Although Nkumbula and Kapwepwe were forced to rejoin UNIP, they could not however be allowed to contest the UNIP Presidency in 1978. The UNIP constitution was amended to indicate that any member vying for the Presidency must have been a continous member of UNIP for the previous five years. This therefore knocked out the two from contesting. This therefore marked the end of the political career for both Nkumbula and Kapwepwe.
Kapwepwe died in 1980 while Nkumbula died in 1984.
In 1990, Zambians rejected the one party state dictatorship and thus removed UNIP in 1991. While Southern Province overwhelmingly voted for Chiluba and MMD, he was however rejected in the Eastern part of Zambia. This feat was repeated in 1996 except for the UNIP boycott which gave MMD a chance to scoop some parliamentary seats.
The above article has clearly demonstrated that Zambians from all parts of the country are able to rise to the occasion and refuse to be divided on ethnic lines. Of particular interest is the the unity of purpose among Zambians to rid themselves of a failed leadership that has thrived in promoting disunity. Of importance in the above article is how Southerners, Northerners and other Zambians have risen and responded to the call of duty to mother Zambia.
The HH- team must therefore be embraced by well meaning Zambians. Have no fear fellow Zambians. Reject those that promote tribalism and hate speech.
The UPND 10 point plan for the country gives hope to all Zambians in the North, South, East, West and the rest of Zambia. Give HH and UPND a chance to prove themselves.