Police in Chipangali yesterday tear gassed and roughed up some Ngoni traditionalists who had converged for the meeting which was scheduled to be addressed by Paramount Chief Mpezeni.
And Eastern province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo’s threat to arrest Mpezeni has angered the traditional ruler who has described it as disrespectful.
At the meeting, the Nkhosi Ya makhosi was supposed to introduce his councillor who would represent him in Chipangali but police using the archaic Public Order Act blocked the meeting.
But sources have told the Watchdog that government was acting on influence from Rupiah Banda’s influence because Rupiah blames Mpezeni for having campaigned for his loss in Eastern province because he campaigned for his old friend Michael Sata. There were also fears that the traditional leader wanted to influence other traditional leaders to decampaign the Pf in the forthcoming Malambo and Petauke by elections.
“Nawo aboma aliye ulemu, akhuthila anthu matiya gas mailo ati votelani boma, anthu aka votele matiya gas? Ati mubauzye ampezeni ati asbweleko ndaba sitifuna kumanga mafumu (This government has no respect, to the extent of teargassing people and tomorrow they say we vote for them. Will people vote for tear gas? And they warn that tell Mpezeni not to come because we wouldn’t want to arrest him)” complained the chief who also said government was unstable because of changing policies frequently.
Last month police also raided Chief Madzimawe accusing him of storing stolen Mukula trees, the fact is that chief Madzimawe had set up a task force in his village to effect citizen’s arrest on illegal traders of Mukula tree in his chiefdom.