IT IS a mockery to other tribes in Western Province for the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to install Likithi Kaunda as chief Mwenemundu of the Mbunda speaking people because the BRE does not have the mandate to install chiefs in other tribes’ chiefdoms, the Nkoya Royal Establishment (NRC) has charged.
Commenting on the installation of Mr. Kaunda as Chief Mwenemundu by the BRE, NRC chairperson David Tamboka observed that the BRE was still treating other tribes in Western Province as inferior by disregarding the powers of their chiefs.
Mr. Tamboka told the Daily Nation that the continued interference in the affairs of other tribes by the Lozis was brewing anarchy in the province where some tribes were relegated to the gutters of colonialism where the affairs of smaller tribes were placed in the hands of bigger tribes.
The NRC chairperson charged that there was no paramount chief in the province who had the mandate to preside over other tribes because the Mbundas, just like the Nkoyas had chiefs who were capable of conducting such traditional installation rites and observed that the BRE was overstretching its influence beyond its boundaries. “In which capacity did the BRE install Likithi Kaunda as chief Mwenemundu of the Mbunda speaking people? Is it that there are no chiefs among the Mbundas who would have carried out such a traditional undertaking? We hope people are now able to see when we tell them that the Lozi’s dominance in Western Province is proving to be too much for other tribes.So; the BRE was not in order to carry out the installation ceremony because that is a preserve of the Mbunda chiefs.
“The Chiefs Act allows tribes to install their own chiefs and so the BRE was not in order to install a chief from another tribe because that is beyond their jurisdiction. The BRE is not a composition of the Mbunda or Lozi people, so why install a chief from another tribe on his own people? Did Mbunda chiefs indicate that they were not capable of conducting the installation of another chief?” Mr. Tamboka asked.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tamboka has described calls by Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA) on President Edgar Lungu to sign the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PAC) documents on Barotseland to allow the claim for nationhood to be settled through arbitration by a neutral international body as misplaced.
He said no one should force President Lungu to sign the documents because those who were agitating for secession were just a small group while the majority of the people in the province did not ascribe to that as doing so would be selling themselves to slavery.
Mr Tamboka alleged that granting Barotseland secession would compound the problems that non-Lozi speaking people were facing as they would not have any protection from Government. “President Lungu should not be compelled to sign any document which will lead to secession because not all the people in Western Province are for that idea because we have never ascribed to that. What we want is peace and development in the province and so secession is out of question and we are asking the President to ignore such calls because they do not have any blessing from all of us,” he said.