I have just seen a video of houses being engulfed in the infernal in Zambezi as a woman in the background cries, agonizingly, following the tribal clashes between the Lundas and Luvales that flared up earlier in the week.
For the record, I must make it clear I am a member of the Royal family of the Lunda speaking people. As the respected scholar, Prof. Kazhila Chinsembu, of the University of Namibia put it in his message to former Zambezi West Member of Parliament, Charles Kakoma, which of course he was kind enough to share with me and I quote, “I would like to be a good role model that champions the peaceful co-existence of both the Lunda and Luvale peoples in our district. This is important to me personally because despite being Lunda, my wife is Luvale/ Kaonde and corollary my children are Lunda, Luvale and Kaonde,” I will not labour to interrogate who is right or wrong of the two tribes, but rather cry for that family that has lost property……the woman who has lost a husband……that child who has just been orphaned……someone who has had their eyes gorged-out or indeed the person who has to live with life-long scars after sustaining serious injuries. My own sister who is a teacher had her house which is situated within town badly damaged and now has to start rebuilding at such a great cost.
Without any doubt, Zambezi district is one of the least developed places in our nation. While our roads remain quite pathetic and impassable, there’s no economic activity to write home about. The hard wood timber business which at least injected some cash into the local economy for a short while is slowly diminishing, thanks to the depleting timber. Much appreciation and accolades for Senior Chief Ishindi for not giving a blank cheque to individuals and businesses interested in the logging business.
Look at the the Zambezi District Hospital which we inherited from our colonial masters……it’s an eyesore; a total embarrassment! The paint on the walls is peeling off, ceiling boards are curving in while the surroundings are quite unkempt. Do they even have running water? Why is it taking long to demolish it? Go to the government buildings……are we not ashamed that we are still operating from those dilapidated colonial era facilities?
Instead of going after each other’s throats; why can’t we put our hands together and fight for meaningful development to come to our area? For instance, our chiefs can simply impose a ban on timber leaving the district and insist on value addition – we can set up factories to fashion out doors, furniture and display cabinets from our timber! And since our district is endowed with a number of rivers and natural dams, it’s obviously suitable for fish farming. We can equally make use of our vast swamps to produce rice to feed the entire nation and utilise the roling plains for cattle ranching.
Why do we always have to expend our energies on fights, year in and out? Why Zambezi, why?
Prince Bill M. Kaping’a