IT IS much easier to start a war than to stop it.
But for Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni speaking people of Eastern Province to start behaving a like an old battle axe, it will not help anyone.
He should know that ambition, even a futile one, is a multi-part process and sketchily handled, it will burn his fingers.
The chafing which he wants to create between the Ngonis and Chewas who have lived together for many years in synchronization will have sombre and costly consequences not only for him but the entire nation.
He should therefore be told in no indecisive terms that Africa has remained poor partly because of too many unnecessary conflicts between tribes and nations. They are pricey and should not be entertained in modern Zambia.
Suffice to remind the chief that already Zambia has the Lozi/Nkoya disagreement which is still simmering and no one knows for sure how it will end.
It is against this background that we totally support the Chewa Royal Establishment especially Chief Chinunda of Chipangali for aptly forewarning Paramount Chief Mpezeni of grisly consequences if he was going to continue provoking the Chewas.
He is right. To start with Paramount Chief Mpezeni lied when he said the police used teargas to stop the alleged illegal meeting he was scheduled to address in Chipangali last week. Just why would a paramount chief choose to dwell in mendacity?
Government should move in quickly to stop a traditional face-off which is currently looming between the Chewas and the Ngonis for the good of the nation and the people of Chipangali.
The two ethnic groups clashed last year in the same area and now the Chewas have vowed that they will not accept any more intimidation from Paramount Chief Mpezeni whom they have accused of causing trouble in the region.
Chief Mpezeni should therefore be told that whatever revulsion he may have for the Chewas, it should not be used to goad fights between the two peaceful peoples.
It is sad to learn that Paramount Chief Mpezeni is knowingly creating anarchy in the Chewa chiefdom. Just why?
Paramount Chief Mpezeni should instantly desist from going ahead with his unwanted meetings in Chewaland to prevent possible bloodshed.
There is a limit to which you can push people, and when they reach a breaking point there is no looking back.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni should not begin to behave a like a disenchanted child that has lost a sweet. What he is trying to do in the Chewaland will have serious repercussions and will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Government should not watch over this matter with less fervour because it will be difficult to deal with the nine stitches later.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni and his brother Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi should sit round the table and discuss the way forward.
Provocation only breeds wars and gratuitous conflicts and these are what Zambia should avoid at all costs.