Wina calls for law to crim­i­nalise trib­al­ism, hate speech

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - BY NA­TION RE­PORTER

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.

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