…The party must apologise for dragging the Bembas into tribal politics
By NATION REPORTER
THE UPND must not insult Bembas and drag them into politics of tribalism by bragging that they do not need their vote just because the party now has an issue with Geoffrey Mwamba, Edward Mumbi has charged.
Mr. Mumbi, formerly UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s spokesperson, said he was appalled by remarks by the UPND that they cared less about the Bemba vote that GBM gave them as they had their own strongholds along the “Zambezi corridor.”
He said it was an insult for the UPND to drag the Bembas into their tribal and regional politics because Bembas gave the party votes during elections, long before Mr. Mwamba even joined.
He said attacking the Bembas simply because the party had now fallen out of favour with GBM was wrong and will not be entertained.
“It is an insult for the UPND to claim that they don’t care about the Bemba vote given to them by Mr. Mwamba because in other words, they are saying Bembas vote on tribal lines.
However, records are there to show that unlike the situation in its strongholds where other political parties never got nothing substantial, the UPND always got votes from Bembaland.
“It is very unfortunate that the UPND courted GBM on tribal lines.
We thought they courted him on the merits. It is very foolish and disrespectful for UPND to say they do not need the Bemba vote and can win the election by the footprints of the Zambezi region,” Mr. Mumbi said.
He challenged the UPND leadership to apologies to the Bemba chiefs for such a careless statement issued by one of their members.
“As Bembas, we feel insulted. UPND must disassociate the differences it has with GBM because it has nothing to do with us the Bembas. There has never been a political party in this country which has been formed on tribal basis like the exposure that the UPND has made.
“The UPND leadership must be astitute enough to quickly make a public apology to Paramount chief Chitimukulu because it is an insult.
We have never insulted anyone in Southern Province because we understand that chiefs and tribes are not associated to politics but individuals who have their own constitutional rights to vote for any political party that the want,” he said.
He said the UPND had shown deep tribal entrenchments in the way they were practicing their politics.
“They have shown hypocrisy that they were not honest enough when they courted GBM and made him their voice president. They were simply courting the tribe through GBM but GBM does not represent the Bemba vote but his supporters,” he said.