Opposition UPND is being politically mischievous by attacking President Edgar Lungu over the differences between Senior Chief Ndungu and Nshindi of North Western Province, says the Lunda Cultural Association of Zambia..
But the UPND has said the wrangles between the Lunda and the Luvales of Zambezi were as old as the country and had since become political and should therefore be resolved by political influence.
The Lunda Cultural Association of Zambia has accused the UPND of inflaming the differences between the Luvale and the Mbunda people by insinuating that President Lungu was failing to resolve the traditional differences in the region.
The Lunda Cultural Association of Zambia (LCAZ) national chairperson Anthony Samuhandu told the Daily Nation that the association was disappointed that the UPND was politicizing the differences between chiefs Ndungu and Inshindi.
He said UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma should realise that the differences between the two chiefdoms were a sensitive issue that should not be linked to politics or President Lungu who was in Zambezi district in North Western for the Likumbi Lya Mize traditional ceremony.
Mr Samuhandu said President Lungu was in Zambezi to resolve the differences between senior Chief Ndungu and chief Inshindi but to celebrate with the people of North Western the Likumbi Lya Mize traditional ceremony.
He said his association was not amused by attempts by the UPND to blame President Lungu for the land wrangles between senior chiefs Ndungu and Ishindi in Zambezi district.
Mr Samuhandu stated that President Lungu had already tasked the House of Chiefs to resolve the differences between the two traditional leaders because the Head of State had realised that the matter was a sensitive traditional issue that should be handled with utmost care.
“The people of North Western Province are not happy that the UPND through its spokesperson Charles Kakoma has decided to play politics over the land differences between senior chiefs Ndungu and Ishindi. Traditional differences between chiefs are very sensitive issues that should not be carelessly handled in the manner Mr Kakoma is suggesting.
The UPND should not blame President Lungu over the differences between our traditional leaders because the Head of State was in Zambezi for the Likumbi Lya Mize traditional ceremony and was therefore not expected to sit down the two chiefs to discuss their land wrangles,” Mr Samahundu said.
He said there was need for the two senior traditional leaders to work together in resolving their differences and that politicians should avoid commenting on the matter because their interests could be politically misplaced.
Mr Samahundu accused the UPND of attempting to make the two senior chiefs continue wrangling by fanning their land differences and urged the people of North Western Province to ignore the UPND with contempt.
He said President Lungu had asked the two traditional leaders to dialogue over their dispute and avoid confrontation for the sake of peace and unity in the area.
But UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said the land wrangles between senior chiefs Ndungu and Ishindi had become political in nature and that President Lungu should have taken advantage of his visit to Zambezi to guide the two traditional leaders on how best to resolve the differences.
Mr Kakoma said successive presidents had failed to broker peace between the Luvales and the Lunda people and that their wrangles had been there since independence.
He said as a subject of the two traditional leaders, he was concerned that the differences between the Luvales and the Lunda were being allowed to escalate.
“The Lunda/Luvale wrangles have become political in nature not in the sense that political parties are involved. This has been a conflict that had not been dealt with for many years and first president Kenneth Kaunda, his successor Frederick Chiluba and late president Levy Mwanawasa failed to broker peace between the traditional leaders. I was only appealing to President Lungu that he should have taken advantage of his presence in Zambezi to guide the two chiefs so that there could be peace in the area,” Mr Kakoma said.