IN our traditional enthronment rites, I have slept at a graveyard for seven nights so what is Chimbokaila for me? asks chief Mukuni.
And the traditional leader says he shall soon reveal his past efforts to have Zambia as a nation of peace and unity with the former presidents Levy Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda.
Meanwhile, Mukuni of Kazungula and Livingstone says he once warned UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba when he was arrested at Lusaka Central Police that in an event that Hakainde Hichilema was declared winner of the 2016 elections, he and other traditional leaders in Southern Province were going to stand for President Edgar Lungu or any other PF leader if the UPND was to seek vengeance.
In an interview at his Lumpasa Palace, Mukuni said he had always cherished the values of peace, unity and non-violence just as Nelson Mandela did.
I shall say a lot when I soon…But I want to say to you and the nation that I don’t subscribe to violence or anarchy. I have and will always want my country to prosper in all avenues, be it economic or social. However, I would like to say that prison is nothing for me because I have spent seven nights sleeping at a graveyard on the tomb of the first Mukuni. I am the 19th and that tells you how rich our cultural heritage is. I am a Munokalya (Lion) so what is Chimbokaila to me? Ask (home affairs minister Stephen) Kampyongo if he can last even two minutes in pitch darkness at a graveyard,
He said calls for his degazzetion were absurd because his chiefdom had been in existence even before independence.
“In our tradition, which dates as far back as the 7th Century, a chief can only be replaced upon death either induced or natural…after all I don’t receive any government funding, they stopped a long time,” Mukuni said
He added that he had always been there for anyone close to him when in problems.
When the Nkosi [Mpezeni, the paramount chief of the Ngonis] had problems with the law, I drove all the way to Chipata and even had an audience with president Levy Mwanawasa,
He said what Hichilema was going through could not be equated to what Mandela went through.
“After 27 years, he came and forgave the white regime, that is what I told GBM in cells at Lusaka Central Police. I said if he was to arrest anyone in the PF, I was to be the first to visit them (PF), be it Mr Lungu,” said Mukuni.
“I once visited Banda in South Africa when he was nursing his wife Thandiwe with a message of him running for presidency but he told me he did not want to be a second option always after the death of a Head of State. This was after Michael Sata died because he took over after Mwanawasa’s death.”