(Unedited for this blog)
THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA
For Immediate Release
PRESIDENT BANDA CONDEMNS TRIBAL POLITICS
LUSAKA, May 13, 2010 – His Excellency, Mr. Rupiah Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia, on Thursday condemned the emerging culture of tribal politics saying tribalism is a cancer that will destroy the country if condoned.
The President said it was disheartening to see politicians sink so low as to be debating tribal politics in this modern era at the expense of developmental issues. The President said it was not possible for him to appoint a cabinet of 73 people in order to have all the tribes in Zambia to be represented in cabinet. He said cabinet ministers are appointed on merit regardless of tribe, race, sex and creed as per Zambian constitution.
President Banda said he felt vindicated by comments attributed to Paramount Chief Mpezeni that he has not appointed a Ngoni in his cabinet. President Banda, who is Chewa/Ngoni by tribe, said the comments by Paramount Chief Mpezeni showed that he was not a tribalist because he has not appointed a single cabinet minister from his own tribe.
The President said the media should also avoid giving prominence to tribal remarks as they have the potential of sparking hatred and violence as witnessed in a number of countries. The President appealed to his Cabinet Ministers and ruling party officials to avoid getting involved in tribal politics.
President Banda also challenged the media to do a thorough scrutiny at State House and see whether it was true insinuations by some politicians that he has appointed his tribesmen in key positions in his office. He said almost all provinces are represented at State House at very senior level.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS