TO MANY Zambians unaccustomed to the situation in Western Province, the restive climate seems indicative of a breech in relations between between the Lozis, Nkoyas and Mbundas, people who have lived in peaceful co-existence and accept one thing for decades.
The problem is that there is a new breed of Zambians who want to turn the tide of history for their own benefit. There are double-tongued, cunning fellows who are experts in twisting the truth and reinventing history by making mountains out of mole hills in the issues of Western Province.
The seemingly antagonism between Lozis and Nkoyas is fuelled by busy-bodies who want to make political capital out of a storm in a tea cup and make it appear as if Rome was on fire. They dwell on non-issues or very little local inconveniences and build them into national controversies requiring Government or Presidential intervention.
This is the challenge facing Western Province today. The issue of Barotseland Agreement 1964 has spawned a new breed of political demagogues who think it pays to separate people who have lived together for centuries. Very sad indeed.
We urge the people of Western Province to heed the wisdom and advice of the Bemba royalist who says in our edition today that Lozis and Nkoyas must bury their apparent differences and live as ONE. Or else they risk losing political power.
Instead of joining political parties and working their way to the top and benefit from such appointments, these political chancers wait in the wings and do nothing. At an appointed time they rise and make political demands to a new ruling party based on ethnicity in the hope that the Government will be moved and give them political power on a silver plate.
Sadly, they even threaten to use their non-existent political influence to de-campaign the party in power if they are not given this or that because they are allegedly discriminated by traditional authorities under whom they have lived and enjoyed equal privileges since the days of their ancestors.
This could be the reason why the Litunga of Western Province Lubosi Imwiko 11 has been moved to make a rare public statement, appealing to his people to love one another and live in peace. Attending a Christmas church service in Limulunga of the United Church of Zambia, the Litunga said the people of the region have lived in peace and harmony for hundreds of years and warned them against tendencies that may drive them apart.
To those who may not know, almost half the population of the so-called indigenous Lozis have left their original villages in Mongu, Kalabo, Senanga, Sesheke and Shangombo to go and settle in Kaoma and Nkeyema districts in search of farm land. Their Nkoya brothers were just too happy to welcome them and gave them huge chunks of land to farm and settle on, next to Nkoya villages. No Lozi bought land from a Nkoya to settle on – it was given free because Lozis and Nkoyas are ONE.
Lozis in Mankoyaland pay homage to Nkoya Mweenes (chiefs) Mutondo and Kahare where they take all their disputes and reports of new arrivals in their areas. The chiefs too regard these settlers as their subjects and rule over them with justice, equality and empathy. So where is the problem?