Chiefs in Mambwe District in Eastern Province have vowed not to allow Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata to visit them at their palaces because he condemned the decision by President Rupiah Banda to commission the construction of the Chipata-Mfuwe Road alleging that only animals live in the area.
And President Rupiah Banda said he was concerned that the PF leader could refer to the people as animals and rejected the road currently under construction but had now turned to them for votes.The chiefs said in an interview before President Banda addressed a public rally in Mfuwe yesterday that the people of Mambwe District were hurt to be referred to as animals and would not allow Mr Sata at their respective palaces.
Speaking on behalf of the six traditional leaders at Mfuwe airport in Mambwe District yesterday, Chief Munkhanya of the Kunda-speaking people said they were certain Mr Sata would not bother attempting to visit them at their palaces.
Chief Munkhanya said the people had been fighting for the tarring of the road for several decades and instead of celebrating with them on the commissioning of the road, the PF condemned the action and described the project as a waste of resources.
He said PF parliamentary candidate in the September 20 parliamentary election Kaweche Kaunda would waste his time asking the people of Mambwe District to vote for Mr Sata and PF.
Mambwe District has six traditional leaders that include chiefs Jumbe, Msoro, Kakumbi, Nsefu and Malama. “This is the first Government to have taken a bold decision to tar this road since independence. It was started by President Banda and we want him to complete it and we fear that Mr Sata will abandon it because in his thinking we are animals,” Chief Munkhanya said.
As traditional leaders, they were aware that President Banda was the only capable leader and described Mr Kaunda as a political failure who had been moving from one party to another but lost all the elections which he had attempted.
Chief Munkhanya said it was important for Mr Kaunda to accept that the people of Mambwe District in Malambo Constituency had rejected him and would continue to do so.
He said Mr Kaunda contested the 2006 elections under the UPND and now was a PF member leaving the political party formed by his father, who was ironically a humble father of the nation.
Earlier, President Banda arrived at Mfuwe International Airport and shortly after held private talks with the traditional leaders before he proceeded to address a public rally where he promised the people of Mambwe District that he would not consider them as animals but give them more development after the September elections.