By Edwin Sakala
We wish to categorically express our displeasures at some chiefs that have offered themselves to be used by politicians as tool for political oppression. We particularly like to singles out some chiefs in the Eastern part of Zambia where chiefs spend most of their time quarrelling among themselves at the instigation of politicians that want to use them to divide the people of Eastern province.
The idea being used by politicians has rendered chiefs in eastern province almost irrelevant. Instead of inspiring people to fighting for development, they spend time ploughing each others’ back. Gossiping among them has become the order of the day. Some times we wondered whether someday our chiefs will ever be united. Out chiefs have even failed to fight for Chama district that have been amputated from Umodzi Kumawa UK to replanted in a newly created district of Muchinga province in northern province.
The remove Chama District in Eastern Province means the Tumbuka People of Eastern province will now be displaced. They will now no longer be called easterners but people of Muchinga province. We don’t know how our chiefs in eastern province are feeling now with this development. Indirectly, it is like they are not in control for if this was not true they would not be pushed around by politicians each time one works up.
One thing we must make known is that, traditional powers does not reside in political powers.
The difference is that, political powers depend on the good will of the people to give chance to govern while traditional leadership in inherent. It is transmitted from one generation to the next.
We have known no traditional leader that have been called former chief or king but we have had former political leaders whom people have voted out office for misbehaviour and other crimes. This development shows how vulnerable political leadership is compared to traditional leadership. That is why we advise our traditional leaders especially chiefs to get united and speak with one voice. They should not be accepting to be used by politicians who just want to use them for political gains.
The other things we wish to advise our chiefs is be on the lookout on the trend by politicians to use a divide and rule game.
There is no way politician no matter how powerful they may be at the moment that power will cling to them as it is temporal. They should not accept to be cowed by such people. Our chiefs in eastern province are the culprit. They should imitate chiefs in southern and western provinces that have said no to political intimidation. Each time there is a problem they speak with one voice and united with their people.
How we wished chiefs in eastern province could stand united and speak with one voice.
Unlike what is happening at the moment whereas some people sponsored by selfishness politicians have decided to drag genuine chiefs to court. This has seen half the chief population in eastern province spending most of their time going to court to solve issues with their subjects.
We only hope this trend will come to an end soon and the unit of purpose we have seen in southern province among chiefs and their people could extend other parts of the country. Our people should not be used by politicians for selfish reasons of wanting to remain in power for forever.
The Author, Edwin Sakala is the coordinator of the Zambia Direct Democracy Movement-ZDDM