Paramount Chief Mpezeni I has accused Rupiah Banda of being behind the conflict between Ngonis and Chewas in Eastern Province.
This is what the Watchdog has been saying. See here
Addressing Ngoni chiefs at Luangeni yesterday, Mpezeni said most problems involving the two tribes started during the MMD regime under Banda’s rule. “Tenze na a Kaunda, kwenzeve ivi vinthu, tenze na a Chiluba kwenzeve ivi vinthu, tenze na a Mwanawasa kwenzeve ivi vithu, koma vewela na a Rupiah Banda; kuliye muyakine (we had Kaunda, these things were not there; we had Chiluba, these things were not there; we had Mwanasasa, these things were not there. But they came during Rupiah Banda and no one else),” he said. Mpezeni charged that Banda would bring confusion and that people should not be misled by him.
“A Banda azasokoneza dziko, munthu chikamkanga, chamkanga, pa chizungu okamba kuti failure ni failure, osati kuti failure akankhale soti advisor, uzachita advise chani? Mweo mwakangiwa manje muzachita advise chani? No beve alipala ongo presser tyala, lomba pakuti seo tiliye ndalama tiliye kothabila seo. Kuliye kwaningakutwaleni niliye ndalama bayasu bepanga kale ndalama (Banda will confuse the country.
When someone has failed, he has failed. In English they say a failure is a failure, and a failure cannot be an advisor, what can he advise? You have failed and what are you going to advise? No, he is there, he is just pressing, but because we don’t have money, we have nowhere to run to, where can I take you? I don’t have money, our friends already made money),” he said. Mpezeni said all people were one and were also created in the image of God.
The traditional leader also said he would still address his people in Chipangali area. Mpezeni said the government did not handle his issue well. Mpezeni met the chiefs to discuss his failed Chipangali meeting that was supposed to take place last Sunday. Government cancelled the meeting due to security concerns, among other reasons. But the people who turned up for the meeting were tear-gassed by police, an act that angered Mpezeni who accused the government of lacking respect for the people who voted it into office.
Police, two days later, issued a statement, denying Mpezeni’s claims and said no tear gas was used to send the people away. However, Mpezeni said there was no way he could claim that people were tear-gassed, and said those in charge had denied what happened to protect their jobs. Later, chief government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili apologised to Mpezeni for last Sunday’s incident, but the paramount chief refused to accept the apology and insisted that Kambwili does so in person and not through the media.
And chief Nzamane said the public order Act should be revisited. “The public order Act should mainly apply to politicians and not chiefs. I cannot get a permit to visit my people in Chipungo. The public order Act should be changed in the Constitution,” he said. Chief Nzamane said the government should find an amicable way of resolving the differences between Ngonis and Chewas. The chiefs also resolved that Eastern Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo and Chipata district commissioner Kalunga Zulu should show up before them and exculpate themselves. And retainers yesterday handcuffed a teacher from Kapoko Primary School when he tried to play Chimbuya with Mpezeni as he was addressing Ngoni chiefs. The teacher, only identified as a Mr Musonda, called Mpezeni ‘Inkosi yamakoswe’ as he was passing through the Laweni while the meeting was in progress. The vigilant retainers apprehended Musonda together with his friend and let them go after the meeting. The meeting was attended by senior chief Nzamane, Madzimawe, Maguya, Sairi, Mnukwa, Mishoro, Chinyaku, Mshawa and Kapatamoyo.