NKOYAS lobbying for the creation of the 11th province in Western Province are making frantic efforts to meet President Edgar Lungu to officially present their request to be detached from the province either by creating a new province, or re-aligning districts which they dominate to another province.
And more Nkoyas have joined calls for the creation of a new province or be detachment from Western Province through re-alignment, according to Nkoya Royal Council (NRC) representative in Lukulu, Kapumbu Kamunkondwa, who said those thinking that the Nkoyas’ push for the 11th province was a non-starter were dreaming.
The Nkoyas want to live in peace, but not as subservient citizens to a customary authority to which they did not belong.
NRC chairperson David Tamboka told the Daily Nation in an interview yesterday that the Nkoyas in Western Province had already resolved to fight for their own province until their needs were met.
He said the NRC had already done its ground work and was making efforts to meet the Head of State to present their request because the Nkoyas were fed-up with Lozi domination and intimidation on non-Lozi tribes in the province.
Mr. Tamboka said Nkoyas were optimistic that President Lungu would grant their request because it was aimed at fostering development and peace for the other tribes in Western Province who felt badly treated by the Barotse Royal Establishment.
He said the BRE was taking the Nkoyas for granted and warned that the Nkoyas’ resolve was not a joke as they would soon seek audience with President Lungu to ask him to either create a new province, or re-align districts populated by Nkoyas to other provinces.
“We want to meet the President soon to present our request and we know that being a listening leader, he will give us a new province. If that won’t be possible, then he will re-align our districts to Southern, Central, or North-Western Province,” Mr. Tamboka said.
He said those who were down-playing their motives and interfering with their plans were in for a rude shock because the Nkoyas were taking the issue seriously.
“We appeal to the BRE to leave us alone if they do not want problems, but if they continue interfering in this issue, then they are asking for a war and if they want a war, we are ready. We will meet them in the field.
We are tired of being slaves in our own country. Those Indunas who were put in various chiefdoms in the Western Province are up to nothing good. They are operating parallel structures from our traditional structures put in place by our chiefs and they are creating problems because they feel they have the same authority with Nkoya chiefs and that is what we don’t want. These Indunas must go because their mandate ended when Zambia got independence from our colonial masters,” Mr. Tamboka said.
Meanwhile, the fight for another province has extended to Lukulu district where NRC representative, Mr Kamunkondwa has told the BRE that no amount of intimidation would make the Nkoyas retreat because Nkoyas did not owe the BRE anything.
He said it was sad that some people, including members of the BRE were commenting on the matter even when they did not have any clue on the history of Western Province, which he said was home to the indigenous Nkoyas who had settled there long before the Lozi entered the area as fugitives from South Africa.
“For someone to claim that we are a minor tribe in Western Province and that we are under the BRE simply shows that they do not know anything. The BRE is compromised and that is the reason why they are failing to articulate issues that are clear.
The current Litunga is a good man and that is why he has been quiet over the same issue because he understands the relationship between the Lozi and the Nkoyas. It is the BRE members who are creating problems in the area because they want us to continue living as slaves when we are all equal. Is BRE a country?
“Do they have a recognised constitution that the whole world knows? We are governed by the Zambian constitution and that is why we are asking for a province from the Government of the Republic of Zambia and not the BRE. Now, who is bringing anarchy in Western Province between the one who is asking for a new province for developmental purposes and one who is asking for secession?” Mr. Kamunkondwa asked.