PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri says she will slap any Northerner who will try to practice traditional cousinship with Easterners going forward, since some Bembas have taken offence with President Edgar Lungu’s “chimbuya” statement that out of every 10 Bembas six are thieves.
In a bid to defend President Lungu’s statement, the nominated member of parliament said under the tribal cousinship, there was nothing wrong with teasing back the Head of State; and went further to mock Easterners, saying women in President Lungu’s tribe are so ugly that if they marry each other children look like chinkubala (caterpillars).
Mumbi further noted that apart from selected Bembas who had politicised the President’s ‘joke’ made at the Economics Association of Zambia (EZA) gala last week, some other tribes had jumped on the opportunity to destroy the cordial relationship that had existed between the Northerners and Easterners since time immemorial.
“Naba Nevers Mumba baiminamo, beleti ba Lungu bachite apologise (Even Pastor Nevers Mumba has joined those calling on President Lungu to apologise). Where is this thing coming from? Because ine (me) am on record, naile ku Eastern Province, I was quoted saying Eastern women are very ugly, that’s why Eastern men marry us Bembas because they want to improve product yabana (of the children). I said abanakashi baku Eastern Province bonse babi, (All the women from Eastern Province are so ugly). Why hasn’t that brought controversy? Lelo beme ba Nevers bayama, ba Kambwili beme… Nga lelo pali ba Lungu chapilibuka shani? (how can Nevers and Kambwili take issues with tribal cousinship today just because it’s President Lungu speaking?) Let’s not politick about everything,” Mumbi said.
“Nikatala namona umubemba (I should never see a Bemba), if they don’t apologise kuli ichililo akasube uwaku Chipata ubunga (whenever there is a funeral, I must not see a Bemba smear powder on Easterners. Tuleke nafilya fine tucita ichimbuya (We should stop the traditional cousinship). I am just praying that uukafwa mukalamba sana uwaku Chipata. Umubemba akeme na powder, akafola amapi from me (I pray that an elderly person from Chipata dies, so that I can slap a Bemba who will try to do chimbuya. Apa pene epo chipwile nokupwila (the tradition ends here). Takuli ati ‘Mbuya nipaseko yamanzi’, chisililetu (there should be no more begging in the name of cousinship).
When asked if President Lungu was also doing Chimbuya with the Chinese when he said they were as resilient as cockroaches, Mumbi said people misunderstood the context of what the Head of State was trying to communicate.
Awe, that’s different. And if you hear the context in which he talked about the Chinese, he was simply saying ‘the Chinese are strong and they are many, they can survive in any condition’ and let me quote mama Chibiliti, what she said on Millinium radio when people were saying ‘the Chinese they are taking over our jobs’. Mama Chibiliti, that wise woman gave an example to say ‘don’t we have Zambians who are working in South Africa? Don’t we have Zambians who have gone to India to look after old people? That is the context in which the President was speaking,” she said.
“You see, what is sad is that apart from these Bembas who are politicising this issue, some other tribes have jumped on it and they want to create enmity between the Easters and Bembas. We should not allow other people to divide us. This is how we have always lived and we joke with each other as traditional cousins. But they are jealous of us. And those who are arguing to say the President has no right to do Chimbuya because he’s the President, are they even aware that we did chimbuya with him at the funeral of Victoria Kalima? Where were they? We did chimbuya with him and he paid us Bembas over K50,000.”
When asked if it was okay for Bembas to call President Lungu a thief in the name of cousinship, Mumbi said that is how it was supposed to be.
That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Ifwe fwebabemba nga nachitukalipa, naifwe kufwaya ichinga kalipa abaku Chipata. Me I tell Easterners that your men marry us Bembas because kumwenu takwaba abanakashi abasuma. Your relative married me in order to improve the product of the children. Then they answer me to say ‘iwe uli na flat figa (they mock me back by saying I have no big buttocks) just to make me annoyed. But since they don’t want that, then the tradition should end here. Nkamone umuntu, Grey Zulu nga afwa, akese na powder (When Grey Zulu dies, I should not see a person with powder). Let’s give each other boundaries,” Mumbi said.
Without referring to President Lungu who is a Nsenga from Petauke and married to First Lady Esther Nyawa Daka who is also from the same region, Mumbi stressed that Eastern Women were so ugly that if they get married to a fellow tribesman, the children end up looking like a caterpillar.
“Tell them that me I married an Easterner because in Eastern there are no beautiful women like me and a Nsenga married me to improve on the product of the children. Because sembe banakwatilana beka beka, bana sembe baoneka monga visenda and that’s what I tell them always. You know Easterners both men and women they have big buttocks cifukwa bakumba mbeba. Filya fine bakumba imbeba nabafulama, their butts protrude (Easterners have big buttocks because of digging mice. So every time they are digging their buttocks protrude and they stay like that). So both of you men and women you have the same big buttocks, so even if mine are English buttocks, the children get the big buttocks from their father. So ndiye improvement yamene iyo (thats how we improved the product),” said Mumbi who is married to a Phiri.