Senior chief Nzamane of the Ngoni people in Eastern Province says tribalism should be curtailed because intermarriages have been uniting people since time immemorial.
And chief Nzamane has advised the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) to put its house in order before the 2021 elections.
Speaking when nominated member of parliament Raphael Nakacinda paid a courtesy call on him, the traditional leader said there was no need for Zambians to be buried in tribal talks because they were inconsequential.
“You know us Ngonis, we keep on recruiting Ngonis and that is why we are here now. You know very well that we crossed the Zambezi river and we could be foreigners here but we have established ourselves now. So, we are there to try and get the other people join us. We have no tribal [issues]. We realize that Zambia has so many ethnic groups that you are identified with but because of the intermarriages that were brought about our fore fathers, there is no need to talk about tribal,” Chief Nzamane said.
And Chief Nzamane said he had not endorsed anyone as MMD leader but advised the two factions to settle their disputes through a convention.
“We are going to the general elections very shortly like in 20 months and I hope you put your house in order by then. You can go to a convention…which is something that is going to decide and possibly put a leader in place. I don’t think you have a leader in place now. You have my blessings but I don’t know when you are going to have this [convention] because you need to have a president. And possibly, we need to be shaded with a bit of some life. I know it is up to the convention to come up with a leader but it was a more sober party than we are seeing now. So, we hope that you come up with a more proper leader that is needed as well as you hold the grassroots because as soon as you leave them, they will go elsewhere. And it will be very difficult for MMD to bring back the membership,” he said.
And when an Eastern MMD official asked the media to excuse Nakacinda and the traditional leader for the two to discuss confidential matters, Chief Nzamane insisted that the reporters stay in order to avoid the perception that he had endorsed anyone.
“No but this general discussion is good as long as we keep it to ourselves. Let’s not go out and start saying ‘ooh yes we have been endorsed and the leader is this one.’ I haven’t endorsed on anyone,” Senior chief Nzamane said.
Chief Nzamane wondered how long it would take for the MMD to resolve its issues.
“But I also want to be in the knowhow as well. I want to know what is happening in the MMD. As far as I know, another MMD for Mumba might also come here and try and omit in discussing what we have discussed now. So I don’t want to start thinking that you lied to me or this one lied after everybody else here has gone. I will start confusing people here. But I am happy that you want to hold to this sober party and its membership too. My only worry is how long the court proceeding is going to take? Won’t we still stay in the limbo that we are? Our economy is so bad and it needs to be repaired, the people are suffering and that’s my big worry. And this should be the worry of everybody else here. My mind is clear now because sometimes I was saying to myself that why is there this insistence when there are other avenues?” asked chief Nzamane.