MWILA NTAMBI, Lufwanyama
CHIEFTAINESS Shimukunami of the Lamba people of Lufwanyama district on the Copperbelt says the emerging trend of regional voting patterns experienced in the recent elections can be attributed to careless talk by some politicians.
Speaking when the commission of inquiry on voting patterns and electoral violence, headed by Justice Munalula Lisimba, paid a courtesy call on her at her palace in Lufwanyama yesterday, Chieftainess Shimukumami said politicians should avoid the kind of talk that can divide the nation on tribal grounds.
She said as a traditional leader, she is saddened and concerned about the current voting patterns going on in the country.
“The voting pattern is caused by careless politicians that talk anyhow. Some politicians like referring to some tribes as small tribes but there is no small tribe in Zambia. We are all equal tribes,” she said.
Chieftainess Shimukunami said every tribe is important because it contributes to Zambia’s growth and uniqueness as a country that is united despite having numerous tribes.
She said politicians should sit down their cadres and advise them against uttering statements with the potential to cause division.
Chieftainess Shimukumami said President Lungu is trying hard to unite the country by promoting equitable development even in areas where he was not voted for.
And Lufwanyama residents have described the electoral process in the district as free, fair and largely incident-free.
Mwelushi ward councillor Benson Sandochi told the commission that there were no major incidences of violence or fights in Lufwanyama except the tearing off of United Party for National Development (UPND) posters by unknown people.
He said the posters of all other political parties remained intact and that only UPND posters were tampered with.
Mr Sandochi said voting in the area was based on tribal cousinship rather than other factors.
And another resident, Luipa Lubele of Chief Mukutuma’s area, said the voter turn-out in his area was moderate because people that were eligible to vote shunned the process.
Mr Lubele said people in the area complained about lack of development.
He said the area lacks proper roads, bridges, accommodation for civil servants and clean drinking water.
In terms of violence, Mr Lubele said there was no violence and the election was incident-free.