TRADITIONAL leaders in Eastern Province say the alleged evidence that Malawians were poised to take part in this year’s election is stage-managed and only aimed at setting the country on fire if allowed to continue.
The traditional leaders have charged that people should ignore the media reports because the allegations were unfounded, baseless and targeted at inciting Zambians to revolt against Government.
Chieftainess Nyanje, Kawaza and chief Kathumba yesterday told the Daily Nation that reports linking Malawians to taking part in this year’s election were unfortunate and could lead to civil unrest if allowed to take centre stage as political parties build up to the 2016 general elections.
Chieftainess Nyanje said the interactions among Zambians and Malawians did not amount to being citizens of either of the two countries.
“How can people from other countries come into Zambia to vote? I can tell you that we are hearing the story of Malawians coming to vote from you the people in the media. Such issues are not here and I think it is wrong for anyone to start making statements which are baseless and devoid of truth.
‘‘Even reports that Zambians vote in Malawi during elections are very unfortunate because our people have never gone to Malawi to vote. We have some Zambians who live in Malawi and have all the documents to support them. Surely shouldn’t they come back and vote because they now live in Malawi? Does that make them Malawians? It is you people who are misleading this country,” Chieftainess Nyanje said.
And Chieftainess Kawaza said there was nothing that bonded the Chewas from other countries with their Zambian brothers apart from tradition and
culture but said even with strong cultural ties, the Chewas had remained distinct citizens in the countries where they hailed from.
“Each year, we welcome our Chewa brothers from other countries to participate in the Kulamba Kubwalo traditional ceremony because we are all under Gawa Undi but that does not change their nationality.
“Being on the border lines, we have always sensitised our people on the need not to engage in activities that would compromise the security of the country and we have been very serious on that issue. This is why I am saying these are all lies. Let us stop this propaganda because it can set this country on fire especially now that we are going into elections,” Chieftainess Kawaza said.
Meanwhile, Chief Kathumba said the border interaction between Zambians and citizens from other countries did not mean that foreigners had the power to participate in national affairs such as elections.
He said there was need to maintain peace in Zambia so that people were not forced to act on speculative reporting which could lead to civil strife.