Paramount chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province says government should quickly arrest criminals involved in gassing in order to bring peace in the nation.

And Mpezeni says he will not side with anyone, regardless of his or her political affiliations.

Meanwhile, National Democratic Congress party leader Chishimba Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu should rescind his decision of not attending traditional ceremonies because they are unifying factors.

In a speech delivered by Mkwinda Sakala on his behalf during the Nc’wala ceremony in Chipata, Saturday, Mpezeni observed that people were living in fear due to gassing.

“As a chief, I am deeply concerned with the current happenings in the country where criminals have continued attacking our people by gassing them. I want to appeal to the government that arrests these criminals quickly because our people are living in fear,” Mpezeni said.

He also highlighted the effects of climate change.

“As a Province, we have witnessed the devastating effects of climate change such as the ravaging floods experienced this season. We want to support the government’s development agenda in curbing the negative effects of climate change. The heavy rains have affected the delivery of farming inputs of the rural areas and also access to social services,” he said.

“I implore government to come up with measures that will mitigate the effects of climate change and strategies to address them. As a country, we are challenged with the power as a result of the effects of climate change. The heavy rains experienced in this season should have been harvested without damaging nature. Despite this, we are blessed this year because crop production has significantly improved, due to good agriculture. In this regard, we further urge government to ensure that
adequate measures are put in place to secure a bumper harvest.”

And speaking when NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili paid a Courtesy call on him, Chief Mpezeni said he would not side anyone regardless of his or her political affiliation.

“I am happy to see you here aKambwili. You are welcome and feel free because no one would harm you. As a Chief, I have a role to welcome each and everyone who visits me and I am not going to side anyone
regardless of his or her affiliation. I am the Chief for all Zambians and so, I will welcome everyone. So, you are very welcome here and once again feel free,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kambwili expressed joy that he was invited by Chief Mpezeni to attend this year’s Ncwala ceremony.

“Paramount Chief Mpezeni, I am very humbled that you have welcomed me to this year’s traditional ceremony. As you know, a traditional ceremony is a unifying factor which brings people from all walks of life together,” Kambwili said, before urging President Lungu to rescind his decision and start attending traditional ceremonies.

“I want to thank the organizes of this ceremony because when they saw that some people came in with a party regalia, they were able to announce that they didn’t want anyone in party regalia and that
this event was a national event and not a party event. I am sure you are aware that I have been denied entry in two or three traditional ceremonies and that was very unfortunate but here, I want to thank
Paramount Chief Mpezeni for inviting me here and by doing so, we can avoid some tension that are going on in the Country. And I want to appeal to President Edgar Lungu because I hear at in time, he issued a
statement that he stopped officiating at traditional ceremonies and that whenever he goes to one, other traditional ceremonies complain. I want him to rescind his decision and start attending traditional
ceremonies instead of sending his Ministers because by doing so, we can bring this tension to an end.”

Among the people who attended this year’s Nc’wala ceremony were Defense Minister Davies Chama, Housing and Infrastructure Minister Vincent Mwale, Tourism Minister Ronald Chitotela, Finance Minister Bwalya
Ng’andu and Chiefs and traditional affairs Minister Lawrence Sichalwe.

Others were Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II, Mwata Kazembe, and MMD leader Nevers Mumba.