Tonga chiefs win kudos

Tonga chiefs should be commended for reconciling with Patriotic Front (PF) after the Vice President Inonge Wina apologised over PF secretary general Davis Chama’s tribal remarks against the people of Southern Province, the International Institute of Democracy and Conflict Resolution (IIDCR) has said.

IIDCR president Tresford Chomba told the Daily Nation that it was right for the Tonga chiefs to forgive Mr. Chama to end the stand-off that characterised the two parties for over a month.

Mr. Chomba said there was no need to look back at the issue since an agreement had been reached and that no one should talk about the  issue any more.

He alleged that the issue was exaggerated by some selfish individuals who were advancing their own agenda by influencing some sections of society to revolt against Mr. Chama over the statement.

Mr Chomba noted that the spirit of unity exhibited by the Tonga chiefs should be emulated by all if the country was to move forward as bickering had the potential to retard development as people would divert their attention and energies from real issues.

“This is how it should be. The spirit of unity exhibited by our traditional leaders in the Southern Province is commendable and should be emulated by all. As a country, we should learn to embrace one another even when we differ on principle on a number of issues. For now, that is a dead issue and no one should talk about it anymore because it has been dealt with thoroughly. It is now buried and no one should remind us where we came from with this issue,” he said.

Mr. Chomba said those with the spirit of division had been shamed by the chiefs’ stance because they never expected the traditional leaders to forgive Mr. Chama as they wanted him hounded out of the party in order for the PF to become weak.

“These are the same people who have been calling for the firing of Mr. Chama, his deputy Mumbi Phiri and Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili because they wanted to weaken the PF.

“We know that they will now look at other ways of bringing this issue back but we feel people should not pay attention to them because the country needs to move forward. The PF has an obligation to deliver to the people that put them into power.

Therefore, Government should be allowed to work according to its development agenda without any interference,” he said.

Last Friday, Vice President Wina apologised in Parliament to the people of Southern Province over Mr. Chama’s remarks against the Tongas and assured the nation that the party had taken disciplinary action against Mr. Chama. Ms. Wina regretted that Mr. Chama’s remarks had offended the people of Southern Province and asked for forgiveness on his behalf.

The traditional leaders then resolved to forgive Mr. Chama and pledged to work with Government.

Speaking on behalf of other traditional leaders, Chief Chipepo told the Daily Nation that the chiefs had decided to forgive Mr. Chama and pledged to pray for the leadership to continue developing the country.