IT’S A LIE …‘victims’ narrate how PF staged Namwala ‘ethnic cleansing’

NATHAN Chimbwe, a Namwala resident of Cooperative Compound, says the PF staged the reported violence in the district in order to receive money from State House.

And some PF officials have admitted that they staged the alleged ethnic cleansing for financial gains, as State House gave K50,000 to one of them whose house was burnt down.

The government controlled Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and ZNBC recently reported that the UPND was conducting an ethnic cleansing exercise in Namwala, targeting PF cadres and non-Tonga speaking people.

State House photographer Eddie Mwanaleza travelled to the district and published pictures of purported displaced victims camped at Namwala House School where government and party officials were taking food supplies.

In an interview on Monday, Chimbwe said he went to Namwala Secondary School last Friday to ask his wife, who was among the purported homeless victims, to return home because their twins fell ill.

He said he was with his wife at home in Cooperative Compound, famously known as Copper Compound, but added that he had asked her to return to the camp (Namwala Secondary School) as it was reported that another delegation of senior PF officials would visit the area to deliver more food supplies.

His wife, Rabeeca, who had claimed that UPND officials had burnt her beddings which were on a clothesline outside her unfinished concrete house, failed to explain why she did not tell the truth.

Asked why PF cadres were freely moving around Namwala district in PF attire when they were under threat from the UPND supporters, Rebecca remained mute.

When pressed further to explain why she claimed that a refrigerator and household goods worth K26,000 were burnt, Rebecca said, “I never made such a reports to the police or anybody in government.”

And Harrison Mpofu, who is PF Namwala district mobilisation officer, who had gone to the camp after claiming that his house was burnt down by UPND cadres, explained that he had gone to the camp for his security.

“I spent five days in the camp but I was later taken home in Ngabo, I am married to two wives but I left my wives at home while I was at the camp,” said Mpofu who, however, said there was no political violence in Ngabo despite him deciding to take refuge at the camp.

Temba Phiri, a businessman, said there was no violence in Namwala as was being reported by the government controlled media.

Samaria Chilyabufu Mwape said despite being Bemba, she was living a peaceful life with the Ila people of Namwala.

“If there was violence, it was started by the PF. All I know is that people are deliberately burning their huts after hearing that government will give them money or build houses,” said Mwape.

Another PF official who sought anonymity explained that the perceived violence was started after word went round that Emmanuel Ilunga, the Maala ward youth chairperson, was compensated heavily after his house was burnt.

“Everyone in Namwala knows that the so-called displaced people are there only for money, this was after Ilunga whose house was burnt following a domestic dispute, bragged that he had been given K50,000 by President Lungu,” the PF official said.

The source added that soon afterwards, many villagers in Maala started burning their temporary fishing camps and made false claims that they had lost thousands of money.

“Even a teacher at Shimashinku Primary School, Maxwell Mukonde, also joined those who claimed that their houses had been burnt at Namwala Secondary School, but left his wife to look after his house,” said the PF official.

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