Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chipata police fail to trace riotous Nyau dancers
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Mon 06 Jan. 2014, 14:00 CAT

POLICE in Chipata have failed to trace the traditional Nyau dancers who are alleged to have smashed windows at Mugubudu police post between Christmas and New Year.

But chieftainess Mkanda of the Chewa people in Chipata says it's not true that she influenced Nyau dancers from her chiefdom to smash window panes at the police post.

Eastern Province police commissioner Grace Chipalila said the Nyau dancers damaged window panes at the police post after one of their members was earlier arrested by the police.

"They smashed nine window panes at the police post and these dancers were sent by one of the chiefs. But as police we are stuck with investigations because we can't identify them (Nyau dancers) because they were in their attire," she said.
But chieftainess Mkanda refuted claims that she had influenced the Nyau dancers to damage the police post.

She said the matter was being exaggerated by the police.

"Issues to do with gule (traditional Nyau dance) are not discussed in public and this story that the dancers destroyed a police post is not true. We discussed this issue and the matter has been resolved.

What happened is something that could have been resolved at the village level but the police exaggerated this issue. I only learnt about this issue yesterday (Friday) when I was called at Mkaika (Chewa headquarters) in Katete for a meeting," she said.

The chieftainess explained that the confusion began when people of Israeli village in chief Mshawa of the Ngoni people and her people from Bauleni village differed because Nyau dancers were not given freedom to move freely.

"I am told what caused the confusion is one man from Israeli who insulted Nyau dancers and some selected Chewa chiefs. After this the locals decided to resolve the issue among themselves and the dancers wanted to come here to report what was discussed. It was during this time that one of the dancers was picked up by police. When I went to check at Mugubudu police post, I was told that this gule had been transferred to Chipata Central police station and I followed until the dancer was released," she said.

Chieftainess Mkanda said only a lock was damaged by the Nyau dancers who wanted their colleague to be released from Mgubudu police post.

"There is nothing that I know about this. I was just told and at the time when a Nyau dancer was being taken to the police post I was in Chipata. But what I can say is that everything has been resolved because we tabled this issue," said chieftainess Mkanda.

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