THE failure by the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to resolve the boundary and succession disputes among traditional leaders in Ngabwe district will lead to chaotic scenes soon because those that feel marginalised will revolt, chief Mukubwe has warned.
And suspended Ngabwe Royal Establishment (NRE) representative Brian Chikute has said that people in the chiefdom were living in fear after the mysterious disappearance of the owner of Bando mine, Donald Muleba.
Chief Mukubwe told the Daily Nation that the simmering dispute between him and chief Mwinuna of Copperbelt Province over their boundary around Ipumbu stream had the potential to erupt into violence which government may not contain.
He wondered why the ministry was not paying particular attention to concerns raised by the chiefs and people of Ngabwe despite being aware of the problems that had rocked the newly created district.
He said as a result of the disputes, development in Ngabwe district had stalled as traditional leaders and their subjects felt betrayed on a number of issues which he said were given a blind eye.
“In Ngabwe chiefdom, government is aware that the people have rejected the chief that is said to have been gazetted because he does not belong to the royal family but it is not doing anything to address the problem despite an open rejection of the traditional leader imposed on them.
“In my chiefdom, we have a boundary dispute over the land around Ipumbu stream with chief Mwinuna of Copperbelt province. In December, we just heard Chief Mwinuna saying that the land wrangle had been resolved but who resolved it? How can the dispute be resolved when I was not involved? That is my land and there is no way another chief can set up his palace in my land and claim that the problem has been settled,” Chief Mwinuna said.
He said he had done all he could since 2010 to resolve the land dispute through the ministry, but nothing had been done to-date.
Chief Mwinuna warned that since government was reluctant in dealing with the issues in Ngabwe, traditional leaders and their subjects should not be blamed if they took the law in their own hands if that was the only way to resolve the matter. And Mr. Chikute said the people in Ngabwe were living in fear due to the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Muleba about four months ago. He said there was need for police to expedite their investigations and ensure that perpetrators were brought to book.
“People in Ngabwe are now living in fear because of the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Muleba after having wrangles over the mine with some well-known people but for reasons unknown, these people are still not arrested. The other problem we have here is that some people are indiscriminately selling land and government is not doing anything about it.
“If all our land will be sold, where are we going to get the land for development projects in the district?
People we don’t know have come and settled in our chiefdom and are claiming that they bought the land from the chief. Early this year, Central Province Minister Davies Chisopa said government would carry out a land audit, but why is he quiet?” he asked.