Zimbabwe: Kalimbwe's Utterances Show Lack of Respect for Africa

10 November 2021

The Pan African Association for Socio-Politico Convention Network (PAASPCN), an organisation that seeks and works to protect the social and political ethos of the Pan African ideas, would like to express its profound disappointment and shame on the manner, attitude and misguided recent political utterances over Zimbabwe by one Joseph Kalimbwe of Zambia and a United National People's Democratic party secretary for information.

The utterances, much as they show a great lack of maturity on the part of Kalimbwe, are and remain divisive, politically malicious, and defy all known inter-state political protocols and etiquette.

For the record, Zambia and Zimbabwe have a long history of friendship and good neighbourliness.

That history has been preserved by the formal respect accorded to the founding fathers of the two nations and the amiable interactions between the citizens of the two countries since time immemorial. At one point the two countries were tied up in a tripartite federation that included Nyasaland, now Malawi.

The rise of nationalism and the demand for independence and freedom saw a lot of the first revolutionaries from Zimbabwe crossing into Zambia to set up training camps and wage the armed struggle that brought independence in 1980.

The war in Rhodesia became a war in Zambia and her citizens were affected by it just as much as the citizens of Zimbabwe were impacted by it.

That history remains rich in its correlation with a people's desire for freedom and the long walk to establish a sovereign nation with a unique and strong reverberating national road map. A common thread that kept the two nations together was the riveting Pan African principles.

This Pan Africanism, itself transformed and informed the political undertakings that gave birth to the Frontline States which dislodged the Apartheid system in Southern Africa.

It is this spirit that has characterised and given decorum to the commonalities of the people from these two great nations.

History has perpetually revealed that the brotherhood and sisterhood created through unantagonistic interactive engagements between the two countries has gone far in upholding the Pan African spirit of Ubuntu.

Kalimbwe has, therefore, set himself as a pseudo-democrat whose pursuance of democracy transcend seen and known African-oriented political behaviour.

In a spate of social media postings, Kalimbwe has maliciously and openly denigrated, lambasted the ruling Zanu PF Party and the Government of Zimbabwe.

He has become an external opposition supporter of the Movement for Democratic Change (Alliance) in Zimbabwe, although he has a position in the ruling party in Zambia.

This fact can easily be supported by a number of his Twitter postings in which he openly supported all opposition political parties in the Southern Africa Development Community through remarks such as, "The MDCA, ACT, Mmusi -- these are African comrades who supported our struggle when nobody else wanted to associate themselves with us. We must never forget that!"

It is clear that Kalimbwe is hostile to all ruling liberation parties in the region. That's an unfortunate development. By all his intentions and purposes, Kalimbwe has set a very wayward, acrimonious and wrong example of inter-state diplomacy.

To make matters worse, Kalimbwe's understanding of the Zimbabwe political environment, temerity, tribulations and realities is too superficial and shallow. The Zimbabwe political situation is not a shallow picturesque of the Joseph's rotten perception.

Kalimbwe's utterances, much as they can be dismissed as attention seeking, have the effect of inflicting damage on already and existing cordial relations build as a result of astute and lifelong leadership of the founding fathers of the two countries.

We, therefore, feel and would like to urge His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema to reprimand Kalimbwe and whip him into line.

Africa and SADC are strong because of the mutual respect that governments accord to each other. Let's all be part of a strong Africa whose political maturity has reverence in our founding fathers.

◆ Francis Mambo is PAASPCN secretary general

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