Zambia’s High Commissioner to India Judith Kapijimpanga says Chief Mwanachingwala of the Tonga people of Southern Province did not lose his Fly Whisk, a symbol of power, at the Zambian Mission in New Delhi contrary to assertions by his brother Pinalo Malambo.
Mrs. Kapijimpanga says the Fly Whisk was not handed over to any diplomatic staff but was seized by airport security personnel in Chennai, Tamil Nadu State in 2016 some 2, 161 kilometres from the capital Delhi, when he was in India for medical check up.
She says being in possession of a FLly Whisk breached the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 (As amended up to 1993) Chapter V, Trade and Commerce in Wildlife Animals; Animal Articles and Trophies No. 43 (c) 3.
She says the Chief did not pass through Zambia High Commission in New Delhi as he entered and departed from Chennai some 2, 161 kilometres from the capital Delhi.
Mrs. Kapijimpanga says a Zambian Diplomat visited the traditional leader during the time he was in hospital long before he was discharged and departed India as is the usual protocol.
She says the Mission, through the Honorary Consul of Zambia to Chennai engaged authorities in Chennai Tamil Nadu, to negotiate for its release but efforts proved futile as the Chief did not have a certificate of ownership.
Mrs. Kapijimpanga says the assertions by Chief Mwanachingwala’s brother Pinalo Malambo as quoted by the online media have the potential to tarnish the name of the Mission especially that the seizure was witnessed by the Chief, his spouse and the Chief’s Retainer.
She says the incident is regrettable and that efforts are still being made especially that Indian Government is good at keeping records of seized items.
Mrs. Kapijimpanga says Zambian diplomats like any other Zambian value the rich traditions of Chieftainship and would not in any way act contrary to the norms and customs that govern Chieftainship to an extent of touching a symbol of rulership.
She says the Mission continues to extend courtesies to their royal highnesses with gratitude in a professional manner each time they are within India for medical tourism.
Chief Mwanachingwala’s brother Pinalo Malambo is quoted by the online media suggesting that a diplomat at the Zambian Mission in New Delhi was given a symbol of power, Fly Whisk, which was not given back to the Chief.
This is contained in a statement issued to the media by First Secretary Press and Tourism at the Zambian Mission in New Delhi, India, Bangwe Naviley.