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Pure Bembas are not tribalists, says Sefuke Mwamba

DOREEN Sefuke Mwamba is asking which village in Mungwi district ‘tribal’ commerce minister and Malole PF member of parliament Christopher Yaluma comes from.

Mwamba argues that “pure” Bembas are not tribalists.

Meanwhile, Mwamba has praised Tongas as being reliable and all-weather friends.

Yaluma, while addressing his constituents in Mumba area in Malole recently, branded the opposition UPND and the people of Southern Province as intolerant and tribal.

But Mwamba, the UPND national trustee, scoffed at Yaluma for his tribal commentary.

“When something is said, it is wise to first consult before you react. Most of these people who seem to be promoting tribalism are not Bembas. I say so because most of these children from Bembaland, who have spoken along tribal lines are not born from Bemba women. Abaume ku Lubemba tabafyala abaana (men, as per Bemba norms, aren’t the owners of children),” Mwamba said in an interview.

“So, aba abaana babaume abalelanda tebabemba (so these paternal children who are speaking aren’t Bembas). It’s us, like myself, who are Bembas – Doreen Sefuke Mwamba. I’m a Bemba because my mother is a Bemba from chief Chitimukulu and her mother came from the royal family. Now these men you are hearing saying this and that and saying they are Bembas, no! They are paternal children. Maybe their fathers are Lambas….”

She said it had taken her a while to comment on tribalism in Northern Province because: “we (Bembas) are not the only tribe in Northern Province.”

“There are Bisas, Tabwas, Lungus, Mambwes, Namwangas…. I’m speaking as a mother and I appreciate the pain of producing a human being. The only female person who is talking about tribalism niba (is) Nkandu Luo while the rest are men who don’t know the pain of labour. We can’t discriminate those children we have produced,” Mwamba said.

“It will take us Bemba women to make a stop to this nonsense. Baleke tebana baba Bemba (let them stop it; their mothers aren’t Bembas), niba mwana ba kapaso (they were fathered by chiefs’ retainers), niba mwana bakaboyi (they were fathered by domestic workers), bana bama (they are children of) drivers, bana ba mucalo (they are ‘strange’ children). They must stop talking about the Bemba tribe [because] they are not Bembas.”

Mwamba explained that she was a distinctive Bemba from Mungwi district.

“If I give you my NRC, you’ll see that I come from Mukosa village, chief Chitimukulu. My umbilical cord is buried in Malole. But if you ask some of these people which village they come from…. Which village does Yaluma come from? Yaluma does not come from Mungwi!” Mwamba said.

“When Yaluma was born, Mungwi was an agricultural settlement – it was not a village. There were villages surrounding Mungwi like James, Kalupe. But Yaluma does not come from any of these. Nomba uyu Yaluma afuma pi (so where does this Yaluma come from)? Ni mwana ni (whose child is he)? Yaluma is a single name in Bembaland – probably it came from Tanzania. It is these people who come from where and think we are not there.”

She added that: “Ulubemba lwa banakashi, te lwabaume iyo (Being Bemba is determined by maternity, unlike paternity. No!).”

“So, they must stop preaching tribalism in Bembaland, these children of whoever! Us real Bembas are not tribalists! Most of these men who are talking about tribalism have something to do with the Patriotic Front. If that is the PF’s agenda, I’m here to tell them that it’s not taking them anywhere,” Mwamba said.

“If they (those in the PF government) love Bembaland, why are they not testing their relatives for COVID-19 in Northern Province? They have neglected them…. Come 2021, nothing will happen for the PF. Ba Yaluma can stand on an anthill and shout ‘tribalism’ in Lubemba but he will not be heard.”

Mwamba recalled how, some years back, Yaluma had to sneak out of one area of Malole due to the locals’ hostility against him.

“He was rescued by the police from Mungwi. So, I’ll soon go there and mobilise political support. Ndi nokubwelela ku Lubemba kumwesu eko nasha umutoto (I’m about to go back to Bembaland where my umbilical cord is buried). Bamwana mwachiusa bakansange kulya kwine eko nafuma (these children of mwachiusa will find me in my home village),” she noted.

“We are mothers and we don’t just tell them that ‘you are children of mwachiusa, you are children of domestic workers.’ But if that’s the language they want us to be using, we’ll go and use it.”

Mwamba further said: “all chiefs who have come in Mungwi ever since I was born in 1966 in Chitimukulu chiefdom, found me there.”

“Even the current Chitimukulu was not born in Malole. No, he wasn’t! But I was born there. Nikumyesu (that’s my home) and Yaluma cannot tell me not to take UPND where I come from. My relatives will support UPND…” she vowed.

Meanwhile, Mwamba reminded Tongas about her love for them.

“Tongas, ndabayanda maningi (I love them so much). They are reliable, tabakwata impatila (they have no hatred), they are hard-working, teba kabwalala (they are not thieves). They are all weather friends. When I lost my grandmother in 2006, I was accompanied by Tongas to go and bury her,” explained Mwamba.

“Some of us don’t talk about this tribalism because when we do, we’ll open a can of worms. So, these male tribalists, let them tell us which villages their mothers came from for them to qualify to be Bembas. Who is Yaluma’s grandmother and which village does she come from? Yaluma is not Bemba and he shouldn’t dent the Bemba tribe. Us Bembas have lived in harmony with our brothers and sisters from other tribe. They should not bring confusion in Bembaland.”/SM

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