By PETER SICHALI
THE decision by UPND to sing the national anthem in Tonga during the opening of their General Assembly on Sunday has been received with mixed feelings.
Stakeholders have questioned why the national anthem should be sung in a particular local language at a national event when the event was national.
Young African Leaders Initiative president Andrew Ntewewe said singing the national anthem in Tonga at a national event when the country had an official language was confirmation that UPND was a tribal party.
Mr Ntewewe said the party’s general assembly was a national event and it was expected that the national anthem would be sang in the official language, English.
“We would not have any problem if the national anthem was sung in Tonga in Southern Province and not at an event where people from various tribes who are members of UPND were participants,” Mr Ntewewe said.
And New Congress Party leader, Peter Chanda said it was strange that the UPND thought it fit to sing the anthem in Tonga when the event involved participants who did not understand the language.
Mr Chanda said the official language in Zambia was English, which he said was understood by people from all regions.
“Everyone would have expected the UPND to sing the anthem in English because the general assembly included participants who did not understand English,” he said.
Meanwhile, a PF member, Chrisantius Changwereza said it was folly for the UPND to sing the national anthem in Tonga at their general assembly because the party was already carrying a tribal tag.
Mr Changwereza said they attested to Zambians that ‘Tonga’ was more important to the party than any other tribe.
“UPND has always been labelled a party for Tongas so they just confirmed it to everyone,” he said.