Mbunda chief masquerading-State

PARLIAMENT heard yesterday that Government did not attend the installation of Chief Mwenemundu of the Mbunda speaking people in Kalabo district because he is not gazetted.

Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs John Akufuna said the there was no gazetted chief in Mwenemundu chiefdom.

Mr Akufuna was responding to UPND Kalobo Central Member of Parliament Chiinga Miyutu who wanted to know why government was not represented at the installation ceremony of Chief Mwenemundu of the Mbunda speaking people. Mr Miyutu further wanted to know what the relations between the Mbunda people of Liuwa and government was and what measures government was taking to improve the relationship to enhance development in the area. In his response, Mr Akufuna said government does not attend installation ceremonies for chiefs who were not gazetted.

He said the Chief in question was not gazetted hence there was no reason for government to be asked to send a representation during such installation.

Mr Akufuna however described the relationship between the Mbunda people of Liuwa and government as cordial.

“We respect all tribes in Zambia including the Mbundas and we shall take development to all the chiefdoms,” he said. Mr Akufuna said the relations between Mbunda’s and government was like that of any other tribe among the 72 tribes.

And the House also heard that Mopani Copper Mines Plc retrenched a total number of 2, 989 employees between January 1, 2015 and November 20, 2015.

Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President Bwalya Chungu told the House that initially Mopani Copper Mines notified Government of its intention to retrench 3, 200 employees by November 21, 2015 but that the government engaged the mine owner and the trade unions to come up with measures to avert the job losses. Mr Chungu was responding to PF Mpongwe Member of Parliament Gabriel Namulambe who wanted to know the total number of employees retrenched by Mopani Copper Mines between January 1, 2015 and November 20, 2015.

He said government was not happy that jobs had been lost that was why it decided to come up with alternatives of finding land for those who could afford engaging in farming.