Saturday, March 24, 2007

LETTERS: HH, Cattle Disease and chief Chibesakunda

HH meeting Levy
By Ronald Chola
Friday March 23, 2007 [02:00]

The statement by UPND president Hakainde Hichilema as reported in The Post on 21st March, 2007 that he would meet President Mwanawasa if it would help millions of Zambians come out of poverty speaks volumes about this opportunist. I urge the UPND president to tell the nation his agenda for his meetings with Levy rather than wrapping his ambition in our poverty.

How would his meeting with the president help Zambians come out of poverty? Poverty reduction in Zambia does not begin and end with anybody meeting Levy. The overall effort to reduce poverty for an opposition party lies in offering checks and balances at branch, ward, council, district and ultimately national level.

It is about active participation in development programmes at local level which will result in overall development of our country. Like the human cell is the basis of human life where all activity takes place, so is the branch the basis of all development for our country. No wonder the late Anderson Mazoka wanted to stand for elections as a branch chairman for Bauleni. He understood the importance of the branch as the basis of development of our nation.

What development policies have been articulated at branch level by UPND which would eventualy sum up to a national agenda? Poverty reduction is about demanding accountable utilisation of our national resources. It is about effective parliamentary representation in our National Assembly.

It is about offering criticism when the government appears to pursue an agenda which is at variance with the aspirations of the people - issues like the IMF tax proposals, investment policies, local government, social welfare, cultural, privatisation, media and many other governance issues.

We have seen how the Democrats in USA are always at the Republicans, constantly keeping them in check to ensure that the american people are effectively serviced. We don’t hear of clandestine meetings between George Bush and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore or Obama with suspect agendas.

Have you seen how the British Prime Minister Tony Blair is kept on his toes in the House of Commons by the opposition to ensure that the interests of the citizens are protected and that governance issues are properly adhered to?

We demand this development approach from Hakainde Hichilema and his UPND. We do not want opportunists trying to capitalise on our poverty to stealthily ascend to the MMD top post as was the case with the UPND presidency. The nation is watching you.

Address cattle disease problem
By Daniel Maimbo
Saturday March 24, 2007 [02:00]

I want to address the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Ben Kapita, on the cattle diseases and subsequent restriction of cattle movement from and within Southern Province and indeed other provinces.

Kapita, it’s like your veterinary department in the Southern Province are more interested in exercising their power of banning stock movement at the expense of finding a long lasting solution of controlling the recurrence of these diseases almost annually. We are fed up of this nonsense of banning cattle movement each year without regard to the hardships the ban impacts on the people who depend on cattle for their income.

Disease control is not just about banning cattle movement, why do they always wait until there is an outbreak to be heard? We see medical doctors taking preventive measures against malaria, cholera and other diseases. What are your officers doing? All they do is get excited about announcing stock movement without any regard to the serious consequences this causes on the poor pastoral farmers. Your lip-service in this area is proving just that. There is serious lip-service on addressing the issue of cattle diseases in Zambia. Minister Kapita, go to Botswana and see how the minister of agriculture reacts to cattle diseases.

Luo as chief Chibesakunda
By Newton Ng’uni
Saturday March 24, 2007 [02:00]

In your Post issue of 16th March 2007, you carried an article entitled “Hunger a Major Problem in Rural Areas- Chibesakunda” in which you made reference to senior chief Chibesakunda of the Bisa people in Northern Province. To start with, there is only one senior chief of the Bisa in Luapula, Northern and Eastern provinces and that is senior chief Kopa who resides in Chinama area in Mpika district. Chief Chibesakunda who resides in Mutambe area of Chinsali district is not a senior chief of the Bisa.

It must be pointed out that while President Mwanawasa recognised a Bob Bwembya Luo as chief Chibesakunda on 27th September, 2006, the day before the elections, Luo cannot be chief Chibesakunda simply because, as a “non-Mwina Ng’ona’, he does not qualify. Luo’s succession to the Chibesakunda’s throne depicts how those with influence can get anything they want through manipulation of the government institutions. Indeed circumstances surrounding the death of the previous chief and the names of contenders to the Chibesakunda throne notwithstanding, Bob Luo cannot ascend to any throne in any Bisa Chiefdom simply because he is not a Mwina Ng’ona.
Therefore his so-called succession to the Chibesakunda throne is invalid and must not be allowed to stand.

Under Bisa traditions, only Umwina Ng’ona (a member of the Ng’ona Clan) can ascend to the throne of chieftaincy in any of the areas where Bisa have settled. Who is Umwina Ng’ona? Umwina Ng’ona is a daughter or a son of a woman belonging to the Bena Ng’ona clan. A daughter or son of a man who is Umwina Ng’ona cannot be Umwina Ng’ona and therefore cannot ascend to the chieftaincy even if the father or grandfather was a chief. To become chief one must trace his lineage to a woman who is Umwina Ng’ona. For this reason (and taking the late chief Chibesakunda as the reference point), only three lines can produce a chief under Bisa traditions and these are: (i) Brothers to the late chief. These are male children borne to the chief’s mother or borne to the chief’s mother’s sisters. (ii) Nephews to the late chief. These are children of the chief’s sisters. The chief’s sisters must be daughters borne to the chief’s own biological mother and/or daughters borne to the chief’s mother’s sisters. And (iii) Grandchildren of the chief. These are children of the chief’s nieces. The children of the chief’s nephews do not qualify. Under Bisa traditions, a chief cannot bear another chief. Chief’s are determined through women. The chief’s nieces are children of the chief’s own biological sisters and female children of the chief’s mother’s sisters. Since everyone who succeeds to the throne in any Bisa chiefdom must trace his lineage to a mother who is Umwina Ng’ona. Luo cannot qualify and his attempt and eventual so-called succession is invalid ambition.

Who is Bob Bwembya Luo in the context of succession to the Bisa throne in Mutambe Areas? Bwembya’s great grandparents on his mother’s side (which is cardinal in succession matters) came from chief Makasa’s area in Kasama district. These were Chapanswa and his wife Chileshe Kalonde. They later moved to Chinsali. In Chinsali one of their daughters, Chipepo Chapanswa got married to chief Chibesakunda Chikuni. Between them they had children one of whom is Chibulu. Chibulu Chibesakunda (Chikuni) is the mother to Bwembya Luo. Mama Chileshe Kalonde was not a Mwina Ng’ona and therefore all children and grandchildren borne to her and to her children cannot be Abena Ng’ona.

The only way any of the descendants of mama Chileshe Kalonde could be Umwina Ng’ona and qualify to become chief was if any of her male descendants married a female Mwina Ng’ona from the Royal clan and bore a son. Such a son would qualify to be chief Chibesakunda and technically speaking, could become chief in other Bisa chiefdoms.

Thus for Bwembya Luo to be chief Chibesakunda, his mother, Chibulu Chibesakunda must be Umwina Ng’ona; meaning that her own mother Chileshe Kalonde must have been Umwina Ng’ona. As shown above, neither Mama Chileshe Kalonde nor Chipepo Chapanswa nor Chibulu Chibesakunda is Umwina Ng’ona and therefore Bwembya Luo does not qualify to become chief Chibesakunda. Alternatively Bob Luo could have qualified to become Chief Chibesakunda if Luo had married a sister or a niece or “grand niece” ‘to the chief, instead of marrying a chief’s daughter. Therefore, under the circumstances, the closest Bob Luo can get to being Chief Chibesakunda is to act for 12 months after the death of a chief in any Bisa chiefdom.

A biological son or grandson to the late chief can act during the time (12 months) the dead chief is being prepared for burial. This is allowed because he cannot become a substantive. Indeed when Chibesakunda Chikuni died before Chibesakunda J. Chushi Kapandansalu took over, it was Chikuni’s first borne son who acted for 12 months in Mutambe area.

A nephew or grandson who is borne of the chief’s sister or chiefs niece cannot act when a chief dies because any of these can succeed immediately and block both the tradition and chances of others who may be eligible. President Mwanawasa must investigate how he came to recognise a person who does not even qualify to be chief. President Mwanawasa must know that what has happened in Mutambe is an insult to all Bisas and must not be allowed to stand.



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