Wina calls for law to criminalise tribalism, hate speech
THERE is urgent need for Parliament to consider coming up with a strong law that will criminalise hate speech and tribal talks because the current one is weak, Vice President Inonge Wina has said. Ms Wina told Parliament yesterday that Government was worried with the type of utterances that some political leaders make which borders on tribalism. The Vice President said this when she was responding to questions during her 45 minutes of question time. Kabwe Central Member of Parliament Tutwa Ngulube asked Ms Wina whether Government had plans to start prosecuting those advocating xenophobic attacks on foreign investors. Mr Ngulube noted that some political parties were advocating for hate speech and tribal talk despite the Penal Code Chapter 88 of the laws of Zambia making it an offence for any person to advocate for division through tribal and hate speech. “Does Government have plans to start prosecuting those advocating xenophobic attacks on foreign investors and their fellow Zambians belonging to different tribes?” Mr Ngulube asked Ms Wina. In response, Ms Wina appealed to Parliament to consider a law to criminalise hate speech and tribal talk because the current law was very weak to address the matter. “It is high time Parliament considered a law to criminalise hate speech because currently, the law is very weak in addressing hate speech and certain types of utterances that leaders make especially political leaders,” Ms Wina said. She said hate speech should not be entertained because it eroded morals.
Why have the Vice President and the leadership been very loud in their silence in condemning those sentiments? Why are you selective in condemning other members who are perceived to be engaging in hate speech?” — Mr Mwiimbu.
Ms Wina said in some countries, hate speech was a serious criminal offence because it had the potential to send the country into big conflicts and civil strife. She called on MPs regardless of political affiliation to always preach peace and unity. And Ms Wina has also advised politicians from both the ruling and opposition political parties to desist from practicing tribal campaigns during elections. Ms Wina called on the UPND Monze Central Member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu who is leader of the opposition to rise above tribal politicking. During the Vice President’s 45 minutes question in Parliament yesterday, Mr Mwiimbu asked Ms Wina why Government did not condemn the tribal and ethnic politicking that was propagated by Sinda independent MP Masautso Tembo during Kasenengwa by-election campaigns. “It is public knowledge that the MP for Sinda during the last by-election in Kasenengwa was engaging hate speech, tribal campaigns. “Why have the Vice President and the leadership been very loud in their silence in condemning those sentiments? Why are you selective in condemning other members who are perceived to be engaging in hate speech?” Mr Mwiimbu asked the Vice President. In responding, Ms Wina said the PF Government does not condone tribal campaigns whether it was coming from their member or opposition.