9 September 1998

Zambia: Lunda, Luvale land conflict

Lusaka — I would like to express my grievances over the Lundas being insulted by Luvales in the press and on radio programmes where Lundas are being blamed by the nation to be troublemakers, violent and provocative, which in my opinion is quite opposite.

If this issue is not properly handled the tribal war between them will never end, even if you call it primitive or Aba ku 6 o'clock balishishita. Maybe Matthew 24:7 is being fulfilled.

The public has been fed with wrong information for a long time by the Luvales over the Lunda land from Chavuma to Kabompo just because they have access to the press. This is because the ZIS journalists based in Zambezi are Luvale themselves. Instead of reporting the truth, they favour Luvales. I suggest to relevant authorities that Charles Kambangu be removed from there and be replaced by a person from a neutral tribe.

People who write to accuse Lundas do not know the full story of the two tribes from Congo Mwatayanvo's palace. I entirely refute the article by Edwin Musaka whose facts are not accurate.

The Luvales are desperate for fertile land where they can cultivate and have a better living. Zambezi West is sandy, they only produce small dry fish (tukeya) and it is difficult to depend on that. The place is always flooded and they would like to grab land by force or lies in order to survive, which will happen.

Yes, it is true that God created the earth and on the sixth day created man and gave him power and authority to rule it. That means we found the earth already created, even Adam and Eve found it. We are all born and we are all eventually going to die leaving the land behind but God divided the land accordingly (Gen.: 1-28, Num. 34).

How did Chief Ndungu decide to deny himself good fertile land in Zambezi East and Chavuma if he was the first to arrive in that area? Surely how can one go and buy bones and put them in his pot and then buy fillet and put it in someone else's pot? How can Chief Ndungu live on sandy and flooded plains and give away fertile land to the Lunda chiefs if he was the first to settle in the area? This is a total lie, do not listen to these people anymore.

Musaka is not from North-Western Province, how did he come to know about the history he published in the press on 6 September 1998? I know that Luvales are always favoured despite telling lies to the nation, therefore, they are always supported because the nation believes whatever it reads.

Lundas are good, kind and patient people who like to mix, learn, and gain knowledge from other people. If they were as described in the press, the Luvales would not have settled in Chavuma and Zambezi East. The nation has always been led to believe that Chavuma is for Luvales but history says that it is for Lundas, even the Chief-tainess NyaChavuma was Lunda. The Lundas have allowed the Luvales to settle in this area out of sheer kindness.

When I was in Standard II (Grade IV today), we read a book called Hafuma Mawanta awa Lunda. I think this book, if printed in English, would allow people to understand where the two tribes rightly belong. The government should have good records at the National Archives. The

nation should not listen to these desperate and stranded people.

The tribal conflict did not break out because of Likumbi lya Mize 1998. The tension has been there all along, so did they not fight? In 1996 the Luvales started emerging their Makishi from our cemetery, Nyawunda. Their argument that this territory belongs to the Zambezi District Council is not valid.

This reminds me of the incident where an MMD cadre was assaulted by UNIP youths outside Freedom House for 'parading there in an MMD T- shirt'. This provoked UNIP cadres who perceive the building and the immediate vicinity as theirs. Had the MMD cadre not put on his party's T-shirt these youths would not have felt provoked. The same principle applies to the Lundas and their gravesite.

One Zambia One Nation is our motto and nobody likes a Biafra war or Hutu and Tutsi guns. Zambia has been peaceful and declared a Christian nation, but some tribes like the Luvales shall cause the problem (Matthew 24:7).

The favouring of Luvales in press reports and accusing the Lundas of aggression should come to an end. It is only logical that from now on, no more Luvale Makishi should resurrect from Nyawunda graveyard for Lundas, they have their own graveyard across the River Zambezi. That action is a declaration.

A Bemba can go to Western Province to settle but has no power to claim that place as Bemba-land. Musaka's article is totally a lie just collected from his work mates.

The Luvales always inform the nation with lies to win favour. Chief Ishima felt pity for Chief Ndungu when he arrived late and allowed him to settle where he is residing now. The Luvales insist on crossing the river because of lack of good food and land as they just depend on makolo and zhicha (wild fruits).

Zambezi Boma was not Balovale from the beginning as is claimed by the Luvales. It was originally called Boma ya Sandonu or Sandong'u. In 1953 a certain white man in the British Government came in the absence of Senior chief Ishindi Kazanda Chanyika. He wanted to know how many tribes were in the district, then Ndungu told him that it was only Luvale and he renamed the Boma Balovale.

The Luvales became proud and cheeky which infuriated the Lundas and this triggered the quarrelling between the two tribes which reached the extent of going to the high courts in Lusaka and Ndola where the Lundas won all cases. The then former president changed the name to Zambezi thus silencing the Luvales.

Senior Chief Ishindi can not sit face to face with Chief Ndungu for talks because Chief Ndungu was just a headman. He is not from a royal family. He will be given an Induna or a Kapaso instead, if it means meeting for talks.

The Luvale tribe has been increasing in number be-cause of Luvale refugees from war-torn Angola and it is these refugees who have brought arms from rebels ready to fight the Lundas. Most of these aliens actually have a tendency of trekking between the two countries to visit their relatives. My belief is that Luvale refugees should wait for a better situation to prevail in their country.

In the meantime, please leave Zambezi East for the Lundas where they belong. They have suffered enough degradation despite being peace-loving people. Though Luvales claim that they want to chase Lundas to Mwinilunga, they should be reminded that Lundas belong to Zambezi, Mwinilunga and Luapula and this will never change. We do not deny that the Luvales are our brothers and that we allowed them to live among us for a long time.

We even appreciate and acknowledge the intermarriages and same cultures that we share but we will not condone their disregard of our authority and superiority as the owners of the land. One Zambia, One Nation.

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