Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Sata tasks Chikwanda to officiate at Tuwimba
By Francis Lungu
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has delegated finance minister Alexander Chikwanda to represent him during the Tuwimba traditional ceremony of the Nsenga people of Zambia and Mozambique next month.

And Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province has agreed to grace the Tuwimba ceremony scheduled to take place at chief Ndake's palace in Nyimba.

In a letter to Nsenga Cultural Association chairman Stephen Mwale, dated September 9, President Sata acknowledged receipt of an invitation for him to grace the traditional ceremony.

President Sata, however, stated that he would not be available to grace the ceremony due to other pressing engagements.

"I will not be available to grace the 2013 Tuwimba ceremony of the Nsenga people, which will be held on 12th October 2013 at Chief Ndake's Lwezi Palace in Nyimba district. I have therefore, by copy of this letter, delegated this responsibility to Hon Alexander B. Chikwanda, Minister of Finance, to represent me," read President Sata's letter.

And Paramount Chief Mpezeni's senior Induna George Zulu confirmed receipt of an invitation from Nsenga chiefs for the Paramount Chief to attend their traditional ceremony.

"The Nsenga and Ngoni culture are similar because the two people are one. So Paramount Chief Mpezeni is very happy that his uncles have invited him to be part of the gathering. Paramount Chief Mpezeni is very happy with the existing relationship between the Nsenga and Ngoni people," Zulu said.

He appealed to the Nsenga and Ngoni people to work towards strengthening their relationship to foster development in their respective areas.

He explained that historically, the Nsenga and Ngoni people were one.

"Historically when the Ngoni people invaded the Nsenga people, they forced the Nsenga people to flee to the hills, fearing the Ngonis' spears. The Nsenga wanted to fight back using stones if the Ngoni attempted to follow them up the hills, but the Ngonis followed them knowing that they will be forced to come back to fetch water," explained Zulu.

"Indeed the Nsengas felt thirsty and asked their women to descend from the hill to draw water. These women were captured by the Ngoni warriors and turned them into wives. That is how the Ngoni warriors lost their language as their children began to speak Nsenga. Both I and Paramount Chief Mpezeni are nephews of the Nsenga people. No one will change this history. No Nsenga or Ngoni will dispute this history."

Zulu disclosed that Paramount Chief Mpezeni had since asked chiefs Nyampande and Mumbi to represent the Nsenga chiefs on the N'cwala ceremony organising committee in Chipata.

Between 1860s and 1870s, the Nsenga were raided by the Bemba and Ngoni-speaking peoples. The Bembas were the first to attack the Nsenga people, stealing their domestic animals and yields. Later, the Ngoni warriors invaded the Nsengaland and got away with Nsenga women and livestock.

During both raids, the Nsenga hunters were defeated and fled, leaving behind women and children.

The Ngoni warriors exacted tribute, married, and assumed their language and culture as they headed up east to settle in Fort Jameson now Chipata.

The Bemba and Ngoni raids forced Nsenga leaders to build substantial stockades (linga) for self-defence.

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