Former UPND Presidential Spokesperson, Edward Mumbi, has said Tribal sentiments will never depart from Hakainde Hichilema’s lips because that is what he stands for.
And Mr Mumbi says the UPND’s comparison of xenophobic attacks in South Africa to the current political situation in Zambia, was retrogressive and a shameless act which must be condemned by all Zambians.
Speaking to Zambian Watch yesterday, Mr. Mumbi said he was saddened by the fact that Mr Hichilema had continued on his political path of tribalism and recklessness despite what he had already done to divide Zambians based on where they come from.
He said Mr Hakainde’s continued reference to Bemba hegemony was wrong because no Bemba has ruled Zambia, and that is why his leadership of a Tonga ethnic party is anathema to Zambia.
He said the UPND garnered votes from across the nation when it was led by the late Anderson Mazoka because he was a unifier and never tolerated tribal politics.
Mr Mumbi said Mr Mazoka found it easy to accommodate other tribes in his leadership because his preoccupation was national consensus.
He said the UPND has been on a downward spiral from the time Mr Hichilema took over because he had reduced the party to a tribal and regional clique which believed in purging whoever had brilliant ideas or if they did not emanate from the party’s strongholds.
“It is unfortunate that Mr Hakainde is even advancing tribal sentiments over the developments in South Africa but this is expected because that is what he stands for. For him, tribe and politics go hand in hand and this is why tribal sentiments form part of his politics,” he said.
“We have never seen this form of unprecedented tribal divisions as a country mainly because Mr. Hichilema, in contrast to his predecessor who embraced everyone, believes tribe can win him the presidency and because of that, today we have a predictable voting pattern based on tribe and regionalism,” Mr. Mumbi said.
And Mr Mumbi said comparing xenophobic attacks in South Africa to the political landscape in Zambia was retrogressive and an indication on how insensitive the UPND was.
“People are being massacred in South Africa and it is only an insensitive leader who can make such a bad comparison. If the atmosphere in Zambia was as bad as it is in South Africa, Mr. Hichilema would not have had the freedom to say whatever he is saying now,” he said.
“The xenophobic attacks in South Africa are a serious issue which those aspiring to lead this country must never trivialise. If not properly handled, xenophobic attacks can plunge the region into turmoil and Mr. Hichilema must stop making jokes of the situation when people are losing lives,” he said.