Chongwe headmen protest against PF

ABOUT 200 headmen of Chongwe on Saturday protested against what they perceive as PF disrespect against the Soli Royal Establishment and senior chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo ll.

The headmen and their subjects are angry with the ruling party for sending its cadres to violently disrupt their annual traditional ceremony in October.

Last October, armed PF cadres stormed the Chakwela Makumbi traditional ceremony, displaced guests from their seats, looted the food and terrorised guests causing others to flee.

Every year, Nkomeshya leads her subjects in a rain-summoning ceremony to herald a new farming season. The event is called Chakwela Makumbi.

It is usually held in the Makuyu Royal Palace in Chongwe in a merry atmosphere punctuated by prayer and traditional dance.

Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province was the guest of honor at this year’s ceremony held on October 26.

But midway through the ceremony hundreds of armed PF cadres arrived aboard 42 minibuses.

The behaviour of the cadres left the chiefdom angry.

And to express their anger, headmen from around Chongwe gathered at the Mukuyu Royal Palace on Saturday to speak out.

They observed that other tribes held their traditional ceremonies without disruption from the PF. They questioned why the ruling party had targeted them.

They branded the conduct of the PF cadres barbaric, disrespectful, and uncultured.

Speaking on behalf other headmen and women, 85-year-old senior headman Chipwalu said he had never witnessed the disruption of the traditional ceremony by political individuals in his life in Soliland.

Chipwalu said it was embarrassing for SRE to witness barbaric behaviour from cadres that turned the traditional ceremony into their ‘Christmas’.

“I have never seen it happen before. I have seen governments come, governments go, even presidents have been in State House but whatever transpired here was very shocking to me,” headman Chipwalu said.

He said the behaviour exhibited by the PF cadres was uncultured and unAfrican.

“It is a taboo for an African child, in African situation. All what we want as Royal Establishment is to meet their leaders so that they would explain to us if at all there is anywhere where we have wronged them, where we have erred so that they would give us answers on the way their cadres behaved in a barbaric manner which was very unacceptable,” said Chipwalu.

Senior headman Chiyeya said he was extremely disturbed with the PF cadre’s unruly behaviour of scavenging food meant for the guest of honor, Mpezeni and others.

He said Nkomeshya’s chiefdom was a Christian chiefdom that harnesses all 73 tribes of Zambia with segregation.

“Please PF cadres that was just a traditional ceremony like any other traditional ceremony that happens here in Zambia. We have chiefs that needs to be respected equally. Our Chieftainess needs that respect. If there are more democratic chiefdoms in Zambia, this is one of them. If there is any chiefdom that does not practice tribalism, then this one is one of them. Because we have harness about 73 tribes of Zambia,” Chiyeya said.

He appealed to the PF leadership to stop the barbaric behaviour at traditional ceremonies.

“Imagine grabbing a microphone from the master of ceremony. We had a number of chiefs from other chiefdoms. I saw one of the cadres pick a chair and pass it over the head of Paramount Chief Mpezeni, is that respect sure?” asked Chiyeya.

And Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukambo II’s first grandson said the Soli Royal Establishment had been expecting the PF leadership to show remorse and apology for disrupting the ceremony.

“We are not happy people following the way the PF behaved during the traditional ceremony. Breaking our gates, scavenging our food, it was not good enough. PF cadres scavenged our food which we prepared for our guests who were invited on that particular day to the ceremony,” he said.

“We are not a happy establishment, up to now we are still annoyed people. We expected the cadres who misbehaved with their superiors to come and apology to what they did but no one has shown remorse. We don’t know if this is what happens in other chiefdoms whenever they are having ceremonies.”

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