A RIFT among Zambia’s vocal civil society organisations (CSOs) has deepened with ActionAid Zambia saying the institution is tired of tribalism era of Lozis.
ActionAid Zambia boss, Nalucha Ziba who is Lozi, and GEARS Initiative chief MacDonald Chipenzi and Tonga, on one hand, and YALI President Andrew Nthewewe, his legal activist Issac Mwanza (both Nyanja speakers) and the Chairperson of the NGO Registration Board, Chanda Nonde, (bemba speaker), traded tribal accusations against each other in a famous WhatsApp group called “Brains of Our Time” with each other.
Ms Ziba had last month accused accused the YALI President of calling for firing of a Lozi and Tonga staff at ECZ when YALI had raised a red flag on unfair distribution of voter registration kits, a tactic they had described as a manipulation strategy.
ActionAid Zambia director who had earlier written on her Facebook page, “My question to President Lungu is has it become a crime to be Lozi or Tonga in your republic?” has now said her organisation is “tired of red of your tribalism the era of lozis you victimised long retired as for the new breed we will face you head on.”
But in the turn of events, the YALI duo have now accused Ms. Nalucha of using ActionAid to fund UPND-aligned CSOs targeting Judge Chulu in a tribal fashion.
Mr. Mwanza said Chipenzi was an architect of the tribal plan aimed at singling out a judge who has been the target of tribal sentiments from some opposition politicians in UPND.
Chipenzi who defended the CSOs tribal witch-hunt against Judge Chulu said the statement by the 20 CSOs was read out by an Easterner (Mr. Phiri of Zitukule organisation) to which Mr. Mwanza said it was a veil for Chipenzi to front an eastern on a tribal assault against Judge Chulu.
Mr. Mwanza alleged ActionAid is being used as a conduit to fund organisations such as GEARS which are being used by known opposition figures for political ends.
“But look who is talking too. Do u think u (ActionAid) will manage to continue funding CSOs to hunt some judge based on tribe. U even forget who runs day to day activities of ECZ,” questioned Mwanza.
In response, the ActionAid boss who is known to be supporting the UPND retorted that ActionAid is support is on voter responsibility
“Yourself deep down your heart you know ECZ has failed to run the voter registration exercise which calls for top leadership to take responsibility as opposed to hiring hungry youths to defend the incompetence being exhibited by ECZ in whats group it will help the problem at hand let them address the challenges period,” said Ms. Ziba
On the other hand, the YALI President Andrew Nthewewe said his team members are not tribal fanatics but simply hold institutions of governance and public officials accountable!
“We don’t care the tribe of the individuals in these public institutions…. What we care about is simply accountability of public servants regardless of their tribe…in fact we don’t even bother checking what someone’s name or where they come from….” he said.
The outspoken YALI Chief said that cannot be said about Nalucha (The ActionAid boss). He said for her and her team, the first qualification for any engagement with them is your surname.
“In fact they will cry tribalism as long you mention any name which they perceive to be Tonga or Lozi.. They are a disgraceful lot…. Even their hate for the President (Lungu) is motivated simply by his tribe. Nothing more!”
ActionAid Zambia has received colossal funding aimed at empowering NGOs that are anti-government to conduct electoral activities leading into the 2021 General elections.