A Nkoya chief and seven Indunas from Kaoma were at the weekend arrested by police for straying into “Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) land”.
But later at the police station, the charge was changed to “alleged offence of conspiracy against or in a manner attempting to undermine the lawful power or authority of a chief Chapter 12(b) 287 Chiefs Act of the laws of Zambia.”
The chief and seven others were picked up by the police in Kaoma where they had gone to question the legality of the newly created Luampa district; they claimed was to be constructed on Nkoya Land.
And Nkoya royal council regional chairman Shimunika Shamatanga expressed shock on government’s failure to recognise the role of the chiefs in their chiefdoms.
Mr Shamatanga said he expected government to restore order in the province, but instead had allowed differences among the people because they were supporting a group who were paying allegiance to them.
“We did not expect government to be one sided, but it is like the government are supporting the other group and if it is so then there is a problem somewhere. It is unfortunate that there is still a tendency of oppressing people in this country,” he said.
Mr Shamatanga said sub chief Matanda, Induna Ngulube, Induna Mulyata, Shihoka, Induna Nchimbi, were among the released on Monday night.
There has been a long standing wrangle between the Lozis and Nkoyas which has raised a lot of concern and recently two Nkoya chiefs, Mwenekahare and Mwemutondo from Kaoma district travelled to Lusaka to engage in talks with their subjects, over possible solutions to the impasse.
The Nkoyas have maintained that it was wrong for other tribes to undermining them when they were the owners of the land.
And Nkoya Royal Establishment representative Gilbert Kalambwe has since advised the PF government to stop harassing traditional leaders because they have nothing to do with them.
They have demanded for the removal of Western Province Permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba, whom they accused of being unsupportive.
Mr Mwamba had been accused of associating with the BRE and not with the Nkoyas, hence bringing confusion in the Province, and said must vacate Western Province.
Mr Kalambwe alleged that Mr Mwamba had failed to carry on his duties he was assigned to do in Western Province, but instead had turned a spokesperson for the BRE.