Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Stardy Mwale Arrested for Ridiculing Bemba Tribe: Charged for Expressing Hatred and Contempt

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Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Stardy Mwale, aged 53, has been arrested and charged for the offense of expressing hatred, ridicule, or contempt for persons because of their race, tribe, place of origin or color. This charge comes in connection with an alleged voice recording that Mr Mwale recorded and published on various social media platforms in January 2023, where he expressed hatred, ridicule, or contempt against the Bemba-speaking people.

While tribal cousinship humour is a common and accepted cultural norm in Zambia that permeates through the social strata of Zambian society, according to Zambia Police Mr Mwale’s comments were deemed unacceptable and prompted his arrest.

Mr. Mwale allegedly recorded and published a voice recording on social media platforms in January 2023, where he expressed hatred, ridicule or contempt against the Bemba-speaking people. While tribal cousinship humour is a common and accepted cultural norm in Zambia, Mr. Mwale’s comments were deemed unacceptable and prompted his arrest.

Mr Mwale is currently detained in police custody, awaiting his court appearance. Zambia Police Spokesperson Danny Mwale
has emphasized that the Police will uphold the law and hold accountable anyone who makes derogatory and hateful comments against any tribe or race in Zambia.

Zambia is known for its peaceful coexistence among its diverse ethnic groups. With 73 ethnic groups cohabiting in the country, Zambia has a rich cultural heritage that celebrates its diversity. One of the practices that reflect this is the Traditional Cousinship, also known as “Chimbuya,” between different tribes such as the Ngoni and the Bemba.

The Ngoni/Bemba chimbuya dates back to the Bemba-Ngoni wars of the 19th century, which were fought at Ng’wena. Over time, the hostilities were replaced by a peculiar kind of humour that belies a mutual respect between the two tribal groups. Today, it is common to find either tribe “taking over” the other’s funeral by supervising the kitchen at the funeral house and/or the interment at the burial site in a comical fashion.

A similar relationship exists between the Tonga and Lozi tribes. Tribal cousinship humor is practiced on a day-to-day basis, and it has become an accepted cultural norm that permeates through the social strata of Zambian society.

It is in this context that the former President Edgar Lungu, a Ngoni, made a light-hearted joke about the Bembas, one of the largest ethnic groups in the country. He said, “Out of ten thieves, six are Bembas,” in a moment of jest and as a Nsenga, he can get away with any joke or illustration to do with Bembas as it is deemed as traditional cousinship at work, just like a Bemba can get away with a murderous joke involving Nsengas, Ngonis Tumbukas, etc.

It is also the same manner Lozis make Tongas the subject of their jokes, and the Tongas equally return the hilarious favor.

25 COMMENTS

  1. He has every right to do so, it is called chimbuya. Stop using the law to get rid of opposition on silly charges. The person you should arrest and charge is that one who said only a t0nga can rule upnd.

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  2. This is silly!
    The bembas and easterners have always known how to manage there relations. I advise UPND to just leave them alone. “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”

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  3. This is going too far. Stardy is from the Eastern Nyanja speaking group, who the Bemba speaking block regard as cousins. We say all sorts of things in fulfilment of our cousinship. In my opinion, there is a hidden reason why they have arrested and detained him. Better to say the real reason why he has been detained, rather than use this useless reason. Are we in a police state?

  4. As far as I Stardy Mwale is Lamba. But as a bemba speaker I haven’t complained to anyone. Leave him alone. We Bembas are not sensitive and neither are we paranoid.

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    • Do not use we. Some of us where hart by his coments and ithere was nothing like chimbuya.
      You cannot be degradating other tribes in the name of chimbya. Even president Lungu insulted us by saying 6 out of 10 thiefs are bembas. What he never realised is that whether one likes it or not we are the majority in this country and that is not our crime or sins.

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    • #Chileshe Chepela… just say you are not one of the WE. Simple. By the Stardy Mwale is from Ndola Rural not Eastern province. His arrest is just an excuse for the failure to corner him on the purchase of Gulf Stream presidential jet.

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  5. Zambia Police, okay stardy is caged but the question I have is this – please advise if the Police Officers who hide on the disused rail line between Chingola and Kitwe which was probably last used in the 70s and say you have not stopped at rail crossing literally wasting productive time are in order, even in livingstone. And ZABS, why have you allowed spikes called speed humps between Kitwe and Chingola continue spoiling peoples vehicles. Remove those things or make them user friendly, those are not humps at all

    • #Gulugufe…yes I find it funny that this only applies at this point. The one near Mukuba Secondary School hasn’t got a police trap.

    • One Chief on the copperbelt assaulted his retainer (Kapaso). He was arrested for ABH. The retainer was a Luvale from NWP. The presiding magistrate concluded that this was tribal cousinship. He ordered the Chief to cleanse the retainer and in future to ensure it doesn’t become physical.

  6. Tribal cousininship put to a crimal test. Interesting scholarship for academics in criminal law.
    One requirement for criminal law is malice aforethought (intention to cause harm). Will cousininship be an offence after this judgement or will it be maintained?

  7. Tribal cousininship put to a criminal test. Interesting scholarship for academics in criminal law.
    One requirement for criminal law is malice aforethought (intention to cause harm). Will cousininship be an offence after this judgement or will it be maintained?

  8. They have started to export their tribalism to other regions but it won’t work. Release Stardy Mwale. Fight real crime and not perceived. This is a styopet charge by a styopet police. They should arrest those that burnt villages and killed Bembas in Southern province in 2015 & 2016 and they know who’s been sitting on the dockets. This won’t take them anywhere. Stardy Mwale wakaele

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  9. In every family there’s at a member or a few that lack wisdom. We know that even in the PF family not everyone is wise but the lack of wisdom by a single member shouldn’t be spread to his ethnicity. Those that follow the mentally disturbed end up in the same fate. Don’t fight battles you least understand for you’ll be embarrassed

  10. Chimbuye is normally light-hearted banter normally played with one’s contemporaries. Reckless generalization of its application can be offensive to some people and there is nothing wrong with the offended to take legal action.

  11. Let Miles Sampa who was the victim of this chaps tribal rantings call it ”Chimbuya”
    We all know Miles will be the prosecutions key witness.
    PF cadres should learn to use their brains.
    The police are not stupid to arrest that tribalist.They know what they are doing.

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  12. Sorry niipusheko kaili Ninshi, Mwale to be Lamba as these chaps are a bemba mob sure. The chaps just remained behind unceremoniously when the marauding bandits rampaging N/E wards….

  13. The Police Mustn’t Entangle Itself in Tribal Cousinship
    Yes just like you have advised in your headline: The Church Mustn’t Entangle Itself With Politics

  14. They’re cousins. They play mbiri yakale football. When is the next mbiri yakale football? Apart from the national team. Everyone loved mbiri yakale football. Secretary of the party Grey zulu vs kapasa makasa at nos 11and 7 at Dag hammersjoeld stadium. Commentator liwewe.

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