EDITORIAL BY KWACHA TIMES: THE TONGAISATION OF UPND BY HAKAINDE
To many people, President Edgar Lungu is someone they have been greatly disappointed with given that, everyone knows how humble and good hearted this person is. It is not a secret that Edgar is someone who relates with everyone regardless of class and status. This is someone who was born and grew up from a very modest family with little or nothing to show off about.
You can today be in a company of Edgar without worrying that he will rub off his societal status on your face. In the law fraternity, Edgar is one of the most successful lawyers there is today, who poses the intelligence and potency to win cases. Wynter Kabimba has told us that during their law school days at the University of Zambia, Edgar was the brightest student in their intake.
Despite all this, you will never hear Edgar boast about how good he is, about how he is the most powerful person in the country today. To Edgar, all these things are nothing but worldly things which matter less than the modest of one’s character.
Contrast with characters like Hakainde Hichilema. Hakainde came on the political scene claiming he was the right person to lead Zambia because he was the richest person in the country. He further claimed that he was the most educated person there is in this country. Until today, Hakainde claims he is the only educated and wise economist who understands how to run a country better than anyone else there is.
This is why, in 2010, Hakainde refused to deputize late Michael Sata in that PF-UPND pact because, despite that the PF was more stronger and had more representation in parliament than UPND, Hakainde wanted to lead the pact, on the premise that he was too rich and was better educated than any Zambian to ever study economics.
But despite everything positive one can say about Edgar today, he runs an administration that seems to be a thorn in the eyes of most people today. The Patriotic Front [PF] has become so undesirable to many people in Zambia today and Edgar is slowly being hated by many people.
Most of those who now hate PF and Edgar have difficulties to openly and publicly align themselves with Hakainde and his UPND.
To many, UPND’s tribal foundation and identity is something they cannot live with. They are better off suffer with PF and Edgar than vote for a party whose foundation seem to invoke a tribal revolution by a section of people in one province.
When one critically analyses UPND, it is clear the party has no national character and identity. Yes, a few elements from other tribes have been appointed into various structures of the party, by Hakainde himself. When these non-Tonga people are subjected to elections in any part or structure of the party, they cannot win those positions. They can only be appointed, forced down on the throat of party members by Hakainde. The truth is, no non- Tonga can genuinely win any intraparty election in UPND today. The tribalism that is taking place in this party is very open that even the very members of this party complain. Why has Saboi Imboela left UPND? Why did Maureen Mwanawasa leave UPND? Why did GBM and Canicius Banda leave UPND?
Saboi openly spoke about how automatically superior Tongas are in UPND and how every other tribe is expected to prove – beyond all circumstances – why they should be given any significant position.
Maureen Mwanawasa – a very prominent person in society today – equally left UPND because some Tongas considered her an outsider who did not deserve any senior position based on the fact that she does not belong to a tribe superior in UPND than any other.
We are today talking about these issues not because we seek to sustain and encourage tribalism in anyway. We are simply trying to talk about this because we do believe the end of this evilness of the UPND and Hakainde’s tribalism can only begin when we engage into genuine discussions about it.
Hakainde is himself a very huge beneficiary of tribal politics. There is no single day that he has condemned any of his friends who openly lure their tribemate to support and vote for UPND based on the fact that their leader hails from Southern province, Tonga land. In fact, every Tonga is expected to support and vote for Hakainde in an election.
Hakainde’s ascendance to the helm of UPND was purely based on Tongaism.
Therefore, the Tongaisation of UPND and Hakainde’s open tribalism has caused many people not to look upto this party in times when we need regime change. Many people are saying it is better to have Edgar than Hakainde with his tribal Tongaised UPND.