THREE traditional leaders in Sinda district have rejected the district map drawn by the local authority, saying it does not indicate the real boundary of the land that was given to the government.
Chief Kathumba and chieftainses Nyanje and Kawaza told the local authority that they would not recognize the new map which has demarcated traditional land from state land.
Speaking at Chochi Guest House on behalf of the other traditional leaders, chieftainess Kawaza said the map was “a false representation” of the land they gave government.
She said they could not give the entire land to government and make the people suffer.
“I don’t think there is government without people, it’s government because of people. Sinda is Sinda because of people; even us chiefs, we are leaders because of people. Surely, should we throw away people because of government? Our position is that the land we gave first, let’s start building. If it won’t be enough, we shall discuss. The other issue is that as the council, you can’t come up with a map without our signatures and knowledge. That is where the problem is as some of us we have been called ‘undevelopmental’ chief but the fact is that I am not a chief to persecute people but to care for them and a chief without land is not a chief. We are there for the people,” chieftainess Kawaza said.
She accused the council of delaying development because of their way of doing things.
“The other problem PS is that doing private things without considering others isn’t good and it brings hatred. The council is doing private things and when they come to us, they say different things and like that, we can’t develop Sinda. So going forward, let’s come up with another map, this map is not recognised by us chiefs as it was written behind our backs and it has no blessings from us” said chieftainess Kawaza, who also thanked Eastern Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo for being a good listener and a good leader.
And chief Kathumba said the chiefs and the council had failed to resolve the land issue and asked Kasolo to intervene in the matter.
He also advised the council chairperson and the district commissioner to realise that their role was to care for the people.
“Let’s see to it that PS, DC, Council chairperson and us chiefs, we keep people and we have to live in a coordinated way for the interest of our people,” said chief Kathumba.
Council chairperson Michael Phiri complained that despite few people being given land by the chiefs, indunas had continued to allocate plots within township boundaries.
“It’s unfortunate that as we had agreed that no plots should be given in questionable land, up to now, chiefs’ indunas are busy giving plots and urging people to build as quickly as possible as some even built at night…,”complained Phiri.
And Kasolo, in his closing remarks, ordered that the current map be cancelled and that the council should prepare a new one in consultation with the chiefs.
“The number one thing is let’s go back to our highnesses, let them give us what they already have and let’s remap the boundary and in my opinion, I would suggest that the map should be ready by 31st January, 2018. And going that way, we will be helped and if the land will be small, we will go back to them to beg for some piece of land and if it’s ok, we shall then say ‘thank you’ to them,” said Kasolo.