PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu yesterday witnessed a public tribal spat where Senior Chief Ndungu told Chief Ishindi to adhere to Luvale concerns or leave Zambezi and settle somewhere else.
And Chief Ishindi told President Lungu that the current dispute involved Chief Ndungu’s desire to impose Luvale as a local language in Lunda land.
Senior Chief Ndungu is a traditional leader of the Luvale people while Chief Ishindi is ruler of the Lunda people in Zambezi.
Senior Chief Ndungu told President Lungu that Chief Ishindi found him in Zambezi in 1907 when he went there to work as a radio messenger.
He said it was during that time when he was offered land to settle down which he now started claiming ownership.
Chief Ndungu said Zambezi had been a Luvale land from time immemorial and there was no way they could allow Lunda’s to dominate the district.
“This is why I don’t like sitting near him because every time I sit next to him I end up getting upset by what he says,” he said.
But senior chief Ishindi of Zambezi East accused Senior Chief Ndungu of undermining his authority in his chiefdom.
He said there was no way he could allow Senior Chief Ndungu to impose Luvale as a local language in Zambezi East because the majority of his subjects were Lundas. Chief Ishindi accused Chief Ndungu of introducing Makishi dance and appointing sub-chiefs in Zambezi East which belongs to him (Ishindi) without his knowledge.
“Chief Ndungu imposed a Luchazi chief in Lunda land, he is not even a recognized chief but he has already started allocating land to Luvale people,” Chief Ishindi said.
Chief Ishindi suggested to the President that he should consider establishing Zambezi West as a district in order to reduce the tension between the two chiefs.
But President Lungu pleaded with two traditional leaders to dialogue while they are waiting for the House of Chiefs to resolve their tribal dispute.
President Lungu, who called for calm in Zambezi district, assured the two traditional leaders that the House of Chiefs would definitely find a lasting solution to their tribal dispute. He said this when he met both chiefs at Zambezi Council Chambers.
President Lungu called on the chiefs to emulate Kaondes who have accommodated other tribes in Solwezi. Mr Lungu said he did not understand why there was acrimony in Zambezi when almost all other parts of the country were embracing other tribes.