The Ngambela of Western Province has said the Litunga and people in the province are impressed with the development projects being undertaken by President Rupiah Banda’s administration and that the campaign to isolate the Government from the Lozis will not succeed.
In an interview with TIMES OF ZAMBIA at Limulunga palace in Mongu yesterday, the Ngambela, who is prime minister and holds the second-highest position after the Litunga, said attempts to drive a wedge between the Lozi-speaking people and the Government would fail.
He said the traditional leaders in the province would maintain the existing close relations they enjoy with the Government considering the many developmental issues it was tackling.
The Ngambela backed President Banda’s initiative to empower teachers and miners, as well as former miners occupying the former Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) houses.He said even though the directive did not affect the province in terms of mining houses, the Government should continue with any programme that seeks to empower Zambians.
President Banda on Saturday directed that all outstanding debts owed by sitting tenants of the former ZCCM houses be written off, and that teachers occupying Government and institutional houses should be allowed to buy them.
He also directed parastatal firms such as National Pensions Scheme Authority and Development Bank of Zambia to work towards offering their houses countrywide to sitting tenants for purchase.
The Ngambela said for the first time since independence, Western Province would have four district hospitals while Mongu-Kalabo Road was the most expensive project taking place in Zambia.
He also said the traditional leadership was considering holding a meeting with Mongu Diocese Bishop Paul Duffy because some of his statements sounded as though he was the spokesperson for the province and the Lozi people.
“We have never held an audience with Bishop Duffy but it is our plan to do so. We want to meet and understand in what capacity he speaks for the province and from there we will see what next,” he said.
The Ngambela said President Banda and his Government should not be discouraged by the negative campaign orchestrated by some Catholic priests such as Bishop Duffy.
It was not correct for anyone to suggest that a whole province could all at once be against the Government because people were at liberty to hold different opinions on matters of governance.
He said there was no gauge to show that the province was against the Government and that the traditional leadership would always work with the current administration for the benefit of the people.
The Ngambela said Zambia was one nation born in 1964 and was optimistic that unity would always prevail despite the pockets of campaigns aimed at causing divisions.
He said campaigns, including a recent failed scheme aimed at having the Kuomboka traditional ceremony cancelled, were in direct conflict with the stand of the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE).
The Ngambela said he had to go on air to announce that the ceremony would take place and urged the people of Western Province to ignore the fliers that suggested otherwise.
He said the BRE had been engaging the Government on developmental issues and was happy that schools, hospitals, roads and farming inputs were being delivered to farmers in the province and the rest of the country.
The Ngambela said royal establishment had always been against calls for secession and that people who protested early this year in support of calls to separate the province from the rest of Zambia did not have any blessings of the Litunga who was a staunch supporter of the “One Zambia, One nation” motto.
He urged the people of Western Province to remain calm and support Government programmes to promote peace and co-existence.