Nkoya chief threatens government

Chief Mutondo of the Nkoya speaking people in Kaoma district has threatened that there will be bloodshed if government will fund the expansion of Naliele royal palace of the Barotse Royal Establishment claiming that the palace is squatting illegally in his chiefdom.

Speaking in Nkoya language through his interpreter, the former Ambassador to Malaysia under the Chiluba administration, Crispin Shumina, he warned Western provincial Minister Obvious Mwaliteta and said the Naliele “Palace” was established in 1936 as a village for the native authority. This was when Mwaliteta paid a courtesy call on him yesterday.

He said Naliele palace was occupied by a prince and not a chief and wondered why today the prince has become a Senior chief of the district in his chiefdom and complained that this is what is causing problems in Kaoma.

Chief Mutondo accused the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) of suppressing other tribes to which he said he cannot succumb.

He said that Nkoya speaking people want peace, but demanded that Naliele palace should be removed from Kaoma in order to maintain what he called harmony in the district.

Shaken by the chief’s words, Mwaliteta explained that it was not government policy to interfere with the traditional matters and that if chiefs want to appoint representatives in the councils they were free to do so. He also appealed to Chief Mutondo to embrace dialogue through the already established government structures and channels.

“It is not the issue of shedding blood but dialogue so that an amicable solution is attained through all peaceful means”, said Mr Mwaliteta.

Ailing dictator Michael Sata has been inetrfering in various traditional affairs by threatening chiefs with dissenting views with degazzetting. Last week Sata withdrew the recognition of the current senior chief Mwamba of the Bemba people of Kasama in a bid to control who becomes the new Paramount Chief Chitimukulu expected to be chosen soon.

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