Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Ministry had been petitioned to institute an inquiry into the un-ending tribal instability in Western Province before the situation gets out of hand, the Mbunda Royal Establishment spokesperson Kennedy Mubanga has suggested.
He said this in light of the rejection of the Mbunda chief Chiengele by the Barotse Royal Establishment of the Lozi people.
Mr Mubanga said such situation were volatile, alleging that the BRE was actively pursuing the agenda of being above other tribes with impunity.
“We write to you in view of the continuous instances of the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) as a traditional institution of the Lozi people’s sustained hostility towards the Mbunda people in Western Province which has created a serious case of tribal instability in the province, following their decision to reject chief Chiengele despite the courts of law confirming him as being the heir,” he said.
Mr Mubanga alleged that BRE was a Lozi traditional institution which has consistently maintained the primitive habit of imposing itself and its culture, language, customs, tradition on other tribes which have their own chieftaincy, language, cultural practices and history.
He claimed that the custodian of the Mbunda chieftaincy and culture in Zambia and Western Province in particular was the Mbunda Royal Establishment (MRE) as was the case with other tribal groups elsewhere in the country.
“This means that the BRE has no legitimate cause or business to interfere in the traditional affairs of the Mbunda people whereas the MRE is the legitimate traditional authority to manage the traditional affairs of the Mbunda speaking people,” Mr Mubanga said.
He said the amended Constitution was clear that all tribes in Zambia were equal and no tribe was mandated to impose itself on another.
“Succession to the various thrones in each chieftaincy shall therefore be perpetual and the appropriate traditional authorities to manage the succession processes are the respective royal establishments such as the Mbunda Royal Establishment in the case of Mbunda chiefs in Zambia.
“We would like to request you to institute an inquiry to probe the traditional setup of Western Province so as advise the Government on how best to respond to the traditional challenges facing the people of Western Province to avoid the situation from degenerating into chaos among the different tribal groups in that region,” the letter reads.
He said the Mbunda people had a constitutional right to maintain and enjoy their language, culture, customs and tradition just like any other tribe in the sovereign Republic of Zambia.
Mr Mubanga implored the ministry to use all available avenues to get to the bottom of the tribal instability in Western Province and thereby help the Government effectively address traditional matters pertaining to the region.