Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II of the Soli people of Lusaka Province yesterday took offence after Higher Education Minister Prof Nkandu Luo ignored her presence in the salutations during a state function.

This happened at the University of Zambia Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre where President Edgar Lungu was officiating at the groundbreaking event for the China-aided project on construction of 13 milling plants across the country.

When she was called upon to give a vote of thanks, Chieftainess Nkomeshya expressed displeasure that the minister who spoke earlier at the event did not recognise her presence, and she used her opportunity to tell Prof Luo to show respect to her traditional leadership.

“Director of programmes, thank you for giving this opportunity to give a vote of thanks for what is happening here today. Your Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of this country; thank you sir for being with us. I also would like to recognise the presence of the Minister of Defence, Honourable Chama Davies, thank you sir for being here. I also want to recognise the ministers who are here, including the Minister of Higher Education, Honourable Nkandu Luo, although in her salutations she ignored my presence here,” Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya remarked.

“I just want to remind her that even where she was making her salutations here, she is standing on my soil, and therefore it is important to respect each other, to recognise each other. I respect her, she is my minister and that is why I can’t leave her out in my salutations.”

She thanked the Zambian and Chinese government for the milling plant.

“I also want to recognise the Ambassador of China Mr Li Jie. This is a good plant that you have brought for us in Lusaka Province, We will look after it and protect it together with those that are responsible for it. Your Excellency, we are grateful that as you are distributing the resources across the country, you are including us. We also want to say that it has been a difficult year for us in this chiefdom. Your people don’t have food, they are faced with hunger and they are all looking to you as their father and provider. As you made your pronouncement that your policies are pro-poor, and the poor people are found in rural setups like where we are. These are the people that are crying to you. What should they do in this serious situation,” asked Chieftainess Nkomeshya.

“As you can see, this is April and we are still having rains. It is not normal in this country but there is nothing that we can do because this is the power of God. For us as poor people, we are saying be kind to us. Look after your people.”