TRADITIONAL leaders in the Easter Province are outraged by the police raid of Senior Chief Madzimawe’s palace in search of Mukula trees.
The search, they said, was an illegal invasion meant to embarrass chiefs in the region.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni and Senior Chief Madzimawe have expressed anger that the police could with impunity invade the palace of a traditional leader on assertions that he was keeping illegal Mukula logs.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni is induna and spokesperson George Zulu told the Daily Nation yesterday that the traditional leaders in Eastern Province were angered by the police command action which ignored traditional etiquette to harass Chief Madzimawe over the Mukula tree logs he had confiscated from illegal timber traders.
The chiefs have accused the police of being involved in the disappearance of the many logs of the Mukula tree impounded and kept at the police premises and that it was shocking that the police command could decide to harass and humiliate Chief Madzimawe for keeping the logs confiscated from illegal timber traders.
Mr Zulu said the Eastern Province traditional leadership would have demanded for an apology from the police command in the region but would not because they were awake of the fact that there were schemes to cause confusion in the region.
He said it was traditionally wrong for the police to have raided the palace of Senior Chief Madzumawe because there had been no complaint or report of missing Mukula logs for the police to have elected to ambush the traditional leader with a search that was uncalled for.
“We want to place it on record that the search of Chief Madzimawe was nothing but an invasion by the police who had thrown traditional etiquette to the wind. What happened at Senior Chief Madzimawe’s palace was unprecedented and it has never happened in any chiefdom.
That invasion was illegal, uncalled for and only intended to embarrass and humiliate Chief Madzimabwe. This act has annoyed the traditional leaders in Eastern Province but let the police and others know that we respect our cultural values,” Mr Zulu said.
He said Senior Chief Madzimawe had been impounding and arresting illegal Mukula traders and was keeping the impounded logs at his palace awaiting a decision from Minister of Lands Charitable Ngimbu to advise the best means of disposing of the timber.
“The Mukula logs that Chief Madzimawe has been keeping at his palace are in public knowledge because the chief has been arresting Mukula tree cutters. He decided to keep the logs at his palace because the police had been stealing the timber.
It is unacceptable to insinuate that the chief stole the Mukula tree. We have been having discussions with the Minister of Lands and the Forestry Department on how best to dispose of the Mukula logs,” Mr Zulu said.
Mr Zulu said Paramount Chief Mpezeni was not happy that the footage taken by the police when they conducted the raid at Chief Madzimawe’s palace was taken to Muvi TV so that the traditional leader could be humiliated.
He said Paramount Chief Mpezeni was wondering how the footage taken by the police could have found itself at a television station but stated that the traditional leadership was aware that the State police had connived with the media to embarrass the chief.
Mr Zulu said the traditional leadership in Eastern Province would not relent but support President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to the best of their abilities.
And Paramount Chief Mpezeni would soon be calling all the traditional leaders in Eastern Province to discuss his intention to invite President Lungu to the region to discuss developmental issues.
The Paramount chief has paid tribute to the traditional leadership in North-Western Province for graciously and warmly welcoming President Lungu who was in the region on a tour of duty.