PARAMOUNT Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi of the Chewa speaking people is shocked that traditional leaders such as Chief Bright Nalumbamba of the Ila people of Namwala and House of Chiefs chairperson Chieftainess Nkomeshya were commenting on the Chewa-Ngoni wrangles with very few facts.
The two traditional leaders criticized Government for Police’s action in which they stopped Paramount Chief Mpezeni who wanted to address Ngonis in Chipangali.
The Gawa Undi said yesterday that he deserved to be respected in order to stop the increased hostility going on between the Chewas and Ngonis in Chipangali in Chipata.
Speaking through his spokesperson James Chirwa, Kalonga Gawa Undi said if Paramount Chief Mpezeni respected him, it would go a long way in resolving the Ngoni-Chewa row over Chipangali.
“We wish to appeal to all traditional leaders and any other interested parties in Zambia who may have little knowledge or no knowledge of the Chewa and the Ngoni History to desist from making uninformed statements on this matter as it can be breeding ground for increased hostility,” Gawa Undi said.
He said the history behind the Chipangali controversy could be traced back to 1948 when some Ngoni subjects from Chief Saili chiefdoms were caught practising witch craft were expelled from that chiefdom and that was according to the Ngoni tradition.
Gawa Undi said some of the Ngonis practicing witchcraft were killed instantly as punishment and those who were evicted ran to the District Common’s office directed his agriculture extension officers to look for land far away from their fellow Ngonis to protect them from being killed.
“The district commissioner, Mr. Frazier approached Chief Chununda of the Chewa people and Chipangali granted,” he said.
Gawa Undi explained that the land the Ngonis went to occupy was under him, and therefore it was irresponsible for anyone to claim that Chipangali was in t heir chiefdom.
Mr Chirwa said when the Ngonis arrived in the Eastern Province, they found Chewas who had settled in that region had already established themselves stretching to Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.
He said governments for all the four countries recognized Kalonga Gawa Undi’s authority, adding the Paramount Chief Mpezeni settled in Chewaland with the help of the Colonial masters who begged for land in the present day Chipata.
“It now baffles me Kalonga Gawa Undi to see people who came to seek refugee could now claim to want to create a chiefdom within a chiefdom. The cancellation of the planned meeting in Chipangali by police was a right thing to do because it was not right for Paramount Mpezeni to hold a meeting in a foreign land,” said Kalonga Gawa Undi.
He said even if he enjoyed peaceful coexistence with other tribes, he took great exception to any moved of antagonistic nature as the ones being exhibited by Paramount Chief Mpezeni.
He also said Paramount Chief Mpezeni was not the only Paramount Chief in Eastern Province, adding that the perception being created was creating confusion and anarchy in the region.
“I am deeply shocked that Government had apologized for doing the correct thing because if the meeting went ahead there could have been bloodshed as was in the first instance. So what’s the apology for?” he asked.