—Choma Mayor, Profester Mwaanga, says it is wrong for the Patriotic Front to label the UPND and the people of Southern Province as tribal.
Mr Mwaaanga told ZANIS that former republican President, Rupiah Banda, supported his tribes mate, President Edgar Lungu but no one marked it as tribal.
The Mayor, who is also Choma District Youth chairperson and Kabimba ward councillor, said he wondered why people were labelling his party as tribal when other political parties also played tribal politics in the just-ended Presidential by-election.
“I have been reading newspapers and seing stories running on national television saying UPND and the people of Southern province are tribal. We want this to come to an end because there is no tribalism in UPND. This is evident even in our party structure because we have a mixture of members from different provinces. If you go to Luapula you will find that HH only got a few votes as compared to Edgar Lungu but we did not say the people of Luapula are tribal,” he said.
Mr Mwaanga appealed to Zambians to stop talking about tribalism in Southern province and the UPND for the sake of peace and unity in the country.
“If Mr Munkombwe endorsed Hakainde Hichilema does it mean tribalism? No! That was the candidate of his choice, just like Rupiah Banda endorsed his fellow Easterner Edgar Lungu and there was nothing wrong with that. We all have candidates of our choice and that is why it is called an election and campaigns are done in order to sell our candidates,” Mr Mwaanga said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwaanga appealed to president Lungu not to side-line Southern province even when the people of the area did not vote for him.
He said president Lungu should emulate the spirit of the late president Michael Sata by taking development to Southern province even if they voted for Hakainde Hichilema.
“In 2011 people of Southern province voted for Hakainde but Mr Sata, may his soul rest in peace, brought development to the province. I appeal to our republican president to equally distribute wealth to all the ten provinces irrespective of whom they voted for,” he said.
The Choma mayor added that Mr lungu is a president of all Zambians and not for a certain group of people or individuals.