Chewa, Ngoni feud rages

THE Chewa Royal Establishment has come to the defence of the police, stating that the law enforcement officers did not use tear gas to stop the alleged illegal meeting Paramount chief Mpezeni was scheduled to address in Chipangali last week.

Chief Chinunda of Chipangali commended Government for stopping the meeting which he said  could have degenerated into chaos had it been allowed.

He said Government did not owe Paramount Chief Mpezeni any apology and advised Information and Broadcasting Minister Chishimba Kambwili against taking sides in the wrangles between the two chiefdoms.

Chief Chinunda also said the Chewa traditional leadership was deeply concerned with comments coming from House of Chiefs chairperson Chieftainess Nkomeshya and other chiefs outside Eastern Province and advised that they should learn to consult before making uninformed and misleading statements to the nation.

And the Chewa people have declared that they will defend with their lives their land including Chipangali area from being invaded by the Ngoni people. They have warned Paramount Chief Mpezeni of ghastly consequences if he was going to continue provoking them.

A traditional showdown is currently looming between the Chewas and the Ngonis of the Eastern Province over Chipangali area where Paramount Chief Mpezeni was stopped by the police from holding a meeting with his subjects. There has been confrontation between the Chewas and the Ngonis over Chipangali and the two ethnic groups in Eastern Province clashed last year in the same area and now the Chewas have vowed that they would not accept the aggression from Paramount Chief Mpezeni whom they have accused of causing confusion in the region.

The Chewa Royal Establishment (CRE) said it was wrong for Paramount Chief Mpezeni to have organized a meeting in Chipangali which was not his area of jurisdiction but under the traditional authority of Chiefs Chinunda, Chanje and Mwase Mphangwe of the Chewa people. Chewa Royal Establishment chiefs advisor Lucas Phiri told the Daily Nation that Paramount Chief Mpezeni was deliberately creating anarchy in the Chewa chiefdom and that if Government was not going to councel the Ngoni Paramount Chief, they would bear the blame of what was going to happen in Eastern Province.

Mr Phiri, who was flanked by Chief Chanje and Chief Chinunda’s Induna, Tonga Kumanda Kuitana, said Chewas were ready to die for their land and that it was the last time they were advising Paramount Chief Mpezeni to respect the authority and jurisdiction of his colleague, Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi.

He said Paramount Chief Mpezeni should immediately desist from holding illegal meetings in Chewaland, warning that such provocation would not be tolerated and would be met with the strongest resistance.

“The Chewa Royal Establishment would like to emphasize that Chipata district is a shared district between the Chewa and the Ngoni and Chipangali area is approximately 100 kilometres away from the nearest Ngoni chiefs Nshawa, Kapatamoyo and Mnukwa. It was therefore wrong for Paramount Chief Mpezeni to organize a meeting in the Chewa area without the courtesy and consent of His Majesty Kalonga Gawa Undi. In the spirit of peaceful co-existence between the Chewas and the Ngonis, we would like to advise Paramount Chief Mpezeni to desist from holding illegal meetings in the Chewaland but if he is going to continue, we are ready to defend our land with our lives and Government would have to take the blame,” Mr Phiri said. He said Chipangali was in the Chewaland under chiefs Chanje, Chinunda and Mwase Mphangwe and that the small group of the Ngoni people in the area were settlers who had left their area because of witchcraft and drought many years ago.