THE issue of wrangles between Senior Chief Ishindi of Zambezi East and Senior Chief Ndungu of Zambezi West dominated President Edgar Lungu’s recent visit to North-Western Province. There was nothing more telling and giving concern than these perennial tribal disputes. Let me state unequivocally that no matter what the two senior chiefs and their subjects choose to call or think of themselves they are all Zambians.
In their case, being born and raised in Zambezi district was simply an accident of history. Their parental roots are from the Mwati Yanvwa’s Lunda-Luba empire, and before that, somewhere in Angola.
The many so-called Lunda or Luvale settlements that either dot the eastern or western banks of the mighty Zambezi river likely hold the key that might unlock the door revealing more specific places of their ancestral beginnings.
To emphasize the point, people like Lundas and Luvales can call themselves whatever they want and speak. Freedom of speech and thought are worthy values they should always cherish and embrace.
But none should blindly assume that they are a superior people with a nasty, brutish and short history that only began during the colonial era when Zambezi district was called Balovale by the British colonial masters in order to drive a wedge between the Lundas and Luvales. By sheer dint of will and grace of the God Almighty, Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda renamed the district as Zambezi.
The Lunda and Luvale-speaking people must be proud, but if not proud at least be aware of who they are. They are all Zambians.
Can there be any justification for wrangles between Chief Ishindi and Chief Ndungu? What’s the House of Chiefs’ take?