PARAMOUNT Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni-speaking people of Chipata is bitter with Police’s decision to teargas his subjects he was supposed to address in an attempt to resolve the standoff between the Ngoni’s and Chewas living in Chipangali.
In an interview with the Daily Nation yesterday, Paramount Chief Mpezeni said he was shocked that his subjects were teargased by police and that despite being invited to attend the meeting, they also stopped the traditional leader from addressing the meeting.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni believes that politics were at play, and that he was not shaken and still waiting to hear the kind of crime he had committed in an attempt to resolve the long time stand-off between the Ngonis and the Chewas.
“Zoona inde aba bantu akapokola banidabwisha zamene atichita. Sanatichite bwino. Lomba kaili muziba kuti nthawi zina sitinga buleme bakapokola, olo wamene uyu PS (permanent secretary) kuti ndiye muyipa or kuti ndiye ochita vonse ivi awe. Ulamuntu niwanchito tyala. Ongolandila ma orders kufuma kwamenekula kulikulu. So ise votuona chabe nikuti nibamene aba asogoleli amene aba ndiwo ochitavamene vonse ivi. Batilesha munsonkhano, neo uyu musonkhano nenzofuna kuti nithandize beve chifukwa chakuti kulak u chipangali kuli kusagqirizana pakati ka ngoni na a chewa,” said Paramount Chief Mpezeni.
“It’s true what these police officers have done, they have not done the correct thing to us. Now we cannot blame the police or even the PS because they are just employees of Government. They just receive orders from leaders. So what we see is that these orders are from the leaders. These leaders are the ones doing this. They have denied me chance to meet my people and resolve the long standoff between the Ngonis and Chewas leaving in Chipangali,” said Paramount Chief Mpezeni.
He accused the PF Government of instructing police to teargas his subjects ahead of the meeting which he was about to address.
The traditional leader explained that his subjects went complaining that they did not want another Chief Saili in that area because there was another Chief Saili, so there was no need to have Saili the second.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni said he had also directed his subject to remove the imposter Chief Saili as a way of resolving the problem.
“So lomba baniuzya kuti osati ulute, so lomba batitila ma tear gas. Bonse bantu bangu kula babatila ma teargas. Bakuti muba uze ba Mpezeni kuti ngabawela kuno tiwele tibamange.
Lomba bamange neo. Lomba nipamene naona kuti popangna musonkhani nikotola permit kuba police mu ziko langu? Chiyambe lelo mafumu kutola permit poo nana na banthu bao? Chiyambile pamene apa pa PF yalomba iyi nikotola permit? Apa peve banisokoneza neo maningi aba basogoleli. I am still annoyed maybe ask Senior Chief Madzimawe,” said Paramount Chief Mpezeni.
And Senior Chief Madzimawe explained that it was shocking that all Presidents allowed traditional leaders to meet and hold meetings in their chiefdoms but under the current leadership they were asking for permits.
He said the main aim of the meeting was to address the problem in Chipangali over the stand-off and promote or restore peace in that area between two different tribes.
Chief Madzimawe explained that the police were aware about the meeting because they were informed and invited to attend, but what was shocking was that instead of attending the meeting, they teargased defenceless people who were waiting to be addressed.
He said it was not the right thing for the PF Government to treat the traditional leaders as if they were a political party and subject them to permit provisions before holding a meeting with their own subjects.
“This has never happened. It is shocking and disturbing to Paramount Chief Mpezeni and the entire region. We don’t know whether this is what the PF leadership wants for people to be ruled by police in this manner,” said Senior Chief Madzimawe.