A group calling itself the indigenous North Westerners this morning exchanged punches with some Patriotic Front (PF) cadres at the provincial administration offices where they gathered to express their grievance over the demands by the ruling party cadres to fire or transfer some civil servants holding senior government positions in the province.
The fight that was quickly stopped by the alert police officers in riot gear, started after some PF cadres forced their way into a gathering that wanted to present the petition over the behaviour of the cadres to the provincial Minister Josephine Limataa.
Police have since arrested one person over the matter.
ZANIS reports that the group is demanding, among other things, that government transfers Ms. Limata back to Western province while the Permanent Secretary David Shamulenge should be taken to Lusaka for allegedly support calls by the PF cadres to harass the North Westerners.
Group secretary Gibson Kanshamba said the people have been provoked by PF cadres who he said have continued to harass locals in government offices and the mines.
Mr. Kanshamba said the indigenous North Westerners are aggrieved over the protest by the PF cadres and are demanding the removal of the Permanent Secretary Dr. David Shamulenge whom they have also accused of sponsoring the PF cadres.
‘We will not allow PF cadres to take the law in their own hands in our province since most of them are outsiders,” the group stated.
According to the petition, the group has alleged that PF cadres want the local people to be removed from their positions in government and parastatals with the view of replacing them with tribes from outside the province.
They also questioned how, Dr. Shamulenge as a Permanent Secretary, allegedly organised people to protest against the indigenous North Westerners instead of uniting the province.
“He is the one to go, he has allowed his wife to be a procurement officer driving a GRZ vehicle
He has continued to abuse government funds by giving the wife imprest to spend,” they complained.
They vowed to lead a campaign to ask those that have come to work in the province including Ms. Limataa to leave so that the people of the province can lead themselves especially if nothing is done to stop the cadres from allegedly harassing the locals.
The PF cadres named the Deputy Permanent Secretary Joshua Kamanya, Town Clerk Elizabeth Kanoka, acting assistant secretary Luyanga Kapumo, some heads of government departments and parastatals among others to be fired or transferred.
Efforts to get a reaction from the Permanent Secretary failed as he was still locked up in meetings by press time.
Scores of PF cadres last Friday protested and petitioned government to fire or transfer some civil servants holding senior positions in North Western province for allegedly frustrating PF programmes by virtue of their perceived political inclination.