Power and Politics

Catholic Church raises the alarm over worsening cases of tribalism, regionalism in Zambia


The Catholic Church has expressed deep concern over government’s inability to find lasting solutions to the pervasive issues of tribalism and regionalism in Zambia.

Dr. Alick Banda, the CARITAS Commission Chairperson, stated that Zambians have allowed ethnic practices and tendencies to hinder their progress.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Monday, Banda said this acceptance had become so ingrained that Zambians passively view it as a way of life.

He pointed out that individuals in public leadership positions are not doing enough to change the trajectory of tribalism.

“The fear and anxiety of long-term repercussions due to these ethnic divisions is very real, especially since the examples of severe consequences are extremely vivid within the region and beyond,” Banda stated.

He reiterated that no one was born hating another person, but people learn how to hate and similarly, they can also learn how to love.

“Christ commands us to love one another. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you (Jn 15:12),” Banda said.

He called on all public leaders to stop pretending that the problem was not serious and to urgently address it before it escalated further.

Read More: ‘Scandalous, intimidating,’ Catholic Bishops condemn police action against Bishop Mulenga, Lungu

Banda emphasized the need to create an environment in Zambia that was free of hate, stereotyping, vulgarity, profanity, nepotism, discrimination and the unfair and unjust distribution of wealth and opportunities.

Additionally, Banda expressed concern over the increasing trend of selectively using legislation to sanitise illegalities and wrongdoings.

“We have observed with total disenchantment and displeasure the manner in which law enforcement institutions are using the law to accuse people selectively,” he said.

Banda highlighted that this sometimes happened to innocent people simply because their beliefs do not align with those in positions of power.

He stated that through dishonest and arbitrary actions, law enforcement officers are increasingly seen to be at liberty to determine, with impunity, whatever charges they apportion to someone, including the retroactive application of the law.

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