Senior cheftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II of Soli people of Lusaka Province says if government intends to kill her, there is no need to send a battalion of PF cadres to attack because a single bullet is enough to end her life.
And Cheftainess Nkomeshya says the army must leave Mikango Barracks if government no longer wants to use the area as a military base but as a residential area for powerful people.
Meanwhile, Cheftainess Nkomeshya says President Edgar Lungu must address the hunger crisis because people are dying.
Cheftainess Nkomeshya was addressing her subjects after some headmen staged a protest at the Makuyu Royal Palace over the manner in which “government was harassing her”.
The traditional leader wondered why cadres were sent to disrupt her ceremony in October.
“I also want to say to you PF and your team behind here, that it is good that we are all here. We listened, we have seen situations and we have talked and I think the message has been loud and clear. All what we needed to be said has been said but as a mother, I will also add what they have said. I am Senior Cheftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II of Lusaka Province. I stand here myself as a very disappointed person and wondering as to what is happening to my Chiefdom and in this country and also to ask questions; what wrongs have I done myself to deserve this type of treatment from the government that I support all the way? Where have I gone wrong? Why am I not told of my wrongs? The ceremony, like what they have already said, is an annual event for all ethnic groups in Zambia. There are 73 ethnic groups in Zambia and all of them have got their own ceremony according to their tribe and culture, nobody disturbs them. What is it that I have done myself to deserve this type of treatment and punishment, harassment?” Cheftainess Nkomeshya asked, Saturday.
The traditional leader said she was not afraid to speak for the people and State House was free to engage.
“There is bias in distribution of the wealth of this country. To all the people of Zambia, I stand to speak and I will not withdraw. I will speak and I will continue to speak but those who want to react to whatever I speak or say, they have all the freedom even to invite me to go to State House, I am ready to go and be asked, ‘what is this chieftainess, that we are hearing?’ If I have something to say, I will say it before my President.
…..For the group of people who gave the support to the President of the republic of Zambia in 2015, in 2016 I have all these subjects who voted and if there is anything they want from their government to give them, the provisions, we have talked about the seed, they have talked about fertilizer, they have talked about infrastructure development roads bridges. These are the things people ask for, when you ask for such things is it an offence? To get reprimanded?” she wondered.
She said she was very small in stature and a single bullet could end her life.
“On the 26th October, invitations were sent to government, to ministers, members of parliament these invitations were taken to ministries, to National Assembly Parliament and put in pigeon books for all members of parliament. Those who don’t go to parliament, they were taken to their offices in Lusaka I thought that was an invitation enough to ask them to come and be with us here. Government said they did not want to be the guest of honour and that as chiefs, we should look for our own guest of honours, I obliged. I invited one of us, Paramount Chief Mpezeni all the way from Eastern Province to come and be my guest of honour, [someone] who is like me, who is part of me who is part of the family because the part of government said they didn’t want to do that. Was I wrong? I wasn’t wrong. And that is why I will want an explanation from the high authorities to dispatch 40 buses all the way from Lusaka to come here to come and disrupt my ceremony with more than 600 cadres, what was the reason? Am I so big that a contingent of 40 buses could descend upon me, to come and kill me? If it is to kill me, even one person can kill me, I am a woman, very small in height, small in body, I don’t even need two bullets to finish my life,” she said.
“If that is what my government wants, they can do that but they should give me a reason why I have become a thorn in their flesh. What is it I have done. They are fighting me left, right and centre every day, my land has been invaded by government, my people have been threatened everyday, they can’t sleep, they can’t go and work in their fields, am I the only chiefdom that has got land here in Zambia? That all the leadership should be all in Lusaka Province?”
And Cheftainess Nkomeshya says the army must leave Mikango Barracks if government no longer wants to use the area as a military base.
“I give them land, State House is there, cabinet is there, Parliament is there, the Judiciary it’s there, Bank of Zambia it’s there, the Army headquarters is on Nkomeshya chiefdom, I have given them land in Mikango barracks to defend the people of Zambia and not to come and fight me. And when I gave that land to Mikango, to defend the people of Zambia many years back in 1972 to protect the people of Zambia, there was no agreement that the land I have given to Dr [Kenneth] Kaunda is the one I gave and I thank God that Dr Kaunda is still alive and he is seeing what is happening. I hope one day he will say something about it. If the land I gave to Mikango for the military establishment, how can it change now to be the residential for those who are up there? Ministers, presidential people, they all have land in this chiefdom, what is it for? So if the purpose I gave Mikango barracks in 1972, the purpose of it is no longer important or necessary, they should withdraw from Mikango they take their barracks and their equipments, they can leave the land.” she said.
“If military guns can only take the life of civilians how about those with power? When there is a gun, can it miss? Chalimbana our river here is deadly…because that was protected land by government, gazetted by government, the source of Chalimbana Forest 27, that is the water which you people who are coming from Lusaka drinking. It comes from that river, now that river has been degazatted trees have fallen down, there are caterpillars, bees, graders that are removing all the trees from there leaving it bare land and yet the same government that gazetted that land to protect it for the good of all Zambians who are living in Lusaka and around it but why change this development and their thinking which they had? Why these mansions that are coming up? Even when we talk about it, nobody listens to us. That land Mikango, barracks it is my land whether they want it or not. If they want that land, they should not go to headman Muzembela they should come to me because I am the one who gave it to Dr Kaunda under his government. Why is government afraid of me? Why is government using violence against me? Why can’t they come so that we talk? .”
Meanwhile, Cheftainess Nkomeshya asked President Lungu to address the hunger crisis because people were dying.
“They should come to eat nshima here? This demonstrates that there is hunger! Their cadres are hungry. If they had come in peace, we were going to give them food we had enough food from amongst ourselves we didn’t go to government to go and ask for help. Even the animals they give is annually, we didn’t ask in 2019. I have farmers who are doing ranching in this chiefdom they gave me their game and it was slaughtered. But government is saying there is no hunger in this country and nobody will die of hunger but they came to eat here, what brought them here?” she asked.
“Insala! My appeal to the president of the Republic of Zambia is that your Excellency there is hunger in the country and people are dying of hunger. He is seeing everyday ZNBC cannot air because they are an embarrassment to government so the private media they make the people know what is happening in the country. So we are grateful to you the private media continue to inform them so that government through you will know what is happening. Where they are hiding you bring it on surface. These people are starving including myself.”
She lamented that she had written a letter to PF Secretary General Davies Mwila over the attacks but there was no response.
Cheftainess Nkomeshya narrated that in the said letter, she had invited Mwila to organise an entourage comprising Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo, Chongwe PF member of parliament Japhen Mwakalombe, and his deputy Mumbi Phiri, among others, to attend a post mortem meeting.
She also said she would send a bill to government for all the things the cadres destroyed.