[By Edwin Mbulo in Nalolo]
MINA ma Lozi, we are trouble, says chieftainess Mbuyu Imwiko.
And Imwiko says those who are truthful always listen to the truth while the crooked hate those who tell them the truth.
Speaking at her Lwambi Kuta (Nalolo Palace) when the UNPND-Alliance leaders Charles Milupi, who is ADD president, and Josephs Akafumba, the NDC interim president, paid a courtesy call on her, Imwiko, who is the daughter of the third Litunga, Imwiko, urged the UPND-Alliance to stabilise the economy if they form government so that even Western Province could have a fair share of the national cake.
“Thank you very much, you have opened our eyes and ears and we will think again…the stability of the economy is very important. Please stabilise the economy so that we can have a fair share, don’t leave us out. As for the roads, they are in a very bad state; come and help us, even just grading our feeder roads. This road (to her palace from the Mongu-Senanga turn-off) is cheap, you said US $300,000 per kilometre to tar it, when we asked why they have (PF) not worked on the road, they say it is because of the terrain. It is God that gave us this terrain. This road should have been done. It is a short road (of about) 4.2 kilometres (long). We were promised that they will tar it but it is now eight years and we are still waiting when it will be tarred,” she said. “When you talk of poverty, we are not poor. We have minerals; what he (Milupi) says is very correct. They want to declare the plains a World Heritage Site, the Kuta said no because the people who are going to be affected are in the plains. So when National Heritage Conservation came here, I told them to first address the people. I should not say yes when the people have not been consulted. We don’t know the dos and don’ts and when they tell us, the people will judge for themselves, not me. They want to come and protect the already protected, our villagers are the best protectors. So we are in trouble, mina ma Lozi, ma Kaonde, when they get these (plains), where will our people, our children go? I know where the minerals are, we are not the poorest, we are quite rich.”
Imwiko added that people living in the plains were even drinking oil contaminated water and wondered what the long term effects would be.
She advised the UPND-Alliance to educate villagers on who makes up the alliance.
“We are old people. I am closed out in here. I don’t go anywhere. So it is good that you have come and I will be very grateful if you can do what you have said. I remember Felix Mutati, he worked very well as finance minister, his name rings in my head. Come and educate us so that we tell our children. They say when you see, you can’t forget. I have seen you, you are eight and I will always remember that,” Imwiko said. “But when you read, it always sticks in your head. So write down all the names of the political parties in the alliance and their presidents and send them to us so that we see and say yes this is a true alliance that wants to unite the nation.”
Imwiko said her favourite wise saying is: “Au bulelela mutu bu niti ya nani buniti wa utwisisa, kono, au bulelela mutu bu niti yasina buniti wakutoya (If you tell someone who is truthful, the truth, he or she always listens, but if you tell someone who is not truthful, he or she ends up hating you.”
Earlier, Akafumba told the chieftainess that poverty in Western Province was over 80 per cent, blaming it on the negligence of the PF government.
He said the people of the area were paying a high price for merely exercising their democratic rights.
Akafumba noted that the road to the palace of the Litunga in Limulunga and chieftainess Imwiko’s road were a sorry sight.
He, however, asked the people of Barotseland to: “Speak out, don’t be silent…it is like we are slowly accepting to be living in poverty.”
“Changing government is not a crime. If the province was to rate the PF performance, I would be shocked if it got two out of 10. You said you are a teacher, if I was to rate PF, I would give them zero out of 10 in Western Province. They are not governing us well. They are turning Zambia into a gun country,” said Akafumba.
And Milupi said no opposition leader was being hunted by the PF government like Hakainde Hichilema.
He said Hichilema’s aim was to make Zambia united once again, especially on tribal lines.
Milupi asked Imwiko to check the list of permanent secretaries and parastatal heads to see how tribally balanced they were.
“We want to bring about a knowledge based leadership of integrity to the people of Zambia…I shudder to think of Zambia in the next five years under the PF because I see a level of increased violence. We will be another Somali,” feared Milupi.