Culture Of Insults In Zambia

It is really a pity if people are dehumanising and demonizing each other on any matter. Why insulting each other on tribal ground?
Monitors of conflict always see insults like one of early warning signs of an escalating conflict, and if that conflict is not well attended to in an appropriate way will lead to crisis. Conflict is dynamic; it keeps on changing and growing, if we don’t do anything to terminate it. Like pregnancy the more it grows the more it changes the parties in conflicts.
If Christopher Katongo is excelling in his soccer carrier, then what is the point of dragging in the issue him being a Bemba? And saying all sorts of violent word on Bembas? What does Bemba has to do with him scoring goals? (By the way I am not a Bemba). I have been reading comments on many issues and three quarters of them is about insulting each other, reducing each other to cockroaches and insects. This is a terrible stage of conflict.
We may say in Zambia, there is “peace”; this is because of our wrong definition of peace. We think peace is merely the absence of war. These insults we throw to each other, these tribal remarks we have embraced as in integral part of our culture will destroy us in the end. It has been a culture of leaving the published issue at hand or the breaking news (e.g. Katongo nets brace) and go in a completely another direction of expressing our hatred against each other.
I have lots of evidences on what I am talking about yet I would like to pick the today’s breaking news on Tumfweko entitled Katongo nets brace. When you go through the comments amazingly you will realize that the first two or three comments are based and connected to the news but from there onwards we have an exchange of insults, dehumanising and demonizing one another using violent and abusive words against each other.
Whenever you reduce your fellow human being (a Bemba, Lozi or Tonga just to name a few) to a cockroach or in insect you are positioning yourself on a killing side; it becomes very easy to kill an insect than a human being. So a Bemba can easily kill a Tonga if this one is just a cockroach to them and vice-versa, moreover you may not even call it murder just because you have stepped on a “cockroach”.
We must not underestimate the power of words. Genocides start with careless statements that we make and throw to each other. You can’t jock by using derogatory statements to your fellow human being. Such “jocks” have potential of conflict which may escalate to a crisis. At times it wise to learn to separate a person from the issue. The issue is Katongo scored two goals… it is not Katongo Bemba, President Bemba and so forth and so on.
This culture of wako Ni wako in Africa and particularly in Zambia will destroy us and will not make us develop as a country. Because s/he is wako, therefore s/he is always right hence you must support them at all cost; on the other hand since s/he is not wako therefore s/he is always wrong and you must not support them. This is a very dangerous and backward attitude. Out of this attitude we have the insiders and the outsiders. Hence Killing and insulting an insider is considered as sin and wickedness but killing and insulting an outsider is not a big deal, it is allowed even by God, it is same as killing a rat. Oh! May God where are we going as Nation?
Let us learn to appreciate the diversity we have in Zambia.

Pastor Paul Wise Lumbu
Ulendo Building Stand Number 9816, Mumbwa Road
P.O. Box: 33253, Lusaka
Mobile: +260 955 780 461
Mobile: +27 820 830 245
E-mail: the_wise2010@hotmail.com
Lusaka / Zambia