Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Mwamba has cautioned that the exhumation of Chief Zwangendaba’s remains from Muchinga and to be repatriated to Chipata must only be done after wide consultation.
Speaking at a Ceremony to discuss the fate of the remains of Chief Zwangendaba at Feni, the palace of Paramount Chief Mpezeni, Mr. Mwamba disclosed that the burial site now in Muchinga Province was a heritage site with historical significance to Northern and Muchinga Provinces and its people.
Chief Zwangendaba was the founder King of the Ngoni people who migrated with his people from South Africa at the height of Shaka Zulu’s Mfecane Wars. He died in 1848 from natural causes and was buried in the Mbala-Nakonde area in Chieftainess Waitwika’s chiefdom.
Mr Mwamba said that the site is internationally listed among national heritage and historical sites of Zambia and the repatriation of the remains of Chief Zwangendaba to Chipata would reduce its significance.
He regretted that many heritage sites in the country were neglected, vandalised and lacked investments, but stated that government would change this and restore and preserve such sites.
But Paramount Chief Mmbelwa IV of the Ngoni people of Malawi insisted that government must fulfil the wishes of the Ngonis that their founder King is buried next to Mpezeni 1 at Feni in Chipata.
He requested government to help correct historical accounts that allege that Zwangendaba was buried in Tanzania among the Fipa people.
He also called on all Ngonis to recognise the special role that Chieftainess Waitwika of the Namwanga people has played in the preservation of the grave for the last 164 years.
And speaking at the same ceremony, Paramount Chief Mpezeni requested government to facilitate the formal invitation of King Zwelithini of Kwa Zulu-Natal and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa who have been invited to this year’s Nc’wala Ceremony.
Chief Mpezeni also disclosed that the 2013 Nc’wala Ceremony would be held on 23rd February 2013.
The ceremony was earlier preceded by a tour led by Energy Permanent Secretary and Induna to the Paramount Chief Mpezeni, George Zulu, to historical sites at Fwaya, a place where the British fought the Ngonis and the burial site of Mpezeni 1 who was buried in 1898.
The Ceremony attracted Ngoni Chiefs from Zambia and Malawi that included Senior Chief Nzamane, Chief Madzimawi, Chief Maguya and Paramount Chief Mmbelwa who is the young brother of Mpezeni, was accompanied by Senior Chief Mpelembe, Chief Ntwalo and Chief Mabilabo.
The ceremony was attended by historians and academics from Malawi who are tracing the roots and settlement made by the Ngonis when they migrated from South Africa to escape the Mfecane Wars waged by Shaka Zulu.