Namwangas reject plans to exhume King Zwangendaba’s remains
Nakonde, February 13, 2013, ZANIS — The Namwanga Speaking people under Chieftainess Nawaitwika of Nakonde district in Muchinga Province have rejected plans to exhume the remains of Late Ngoni King , King Zwangendaba.
In addition, Chieftainess Nawaitwika says Paramount chief Mpezeni deliberate move to use this year’s N’cwala ceremony as an arena to convince Bemba’s chiefs to allow him to exhume the late King’s remains.
This follows the continued demands by the Ngoni Royal Establishment s to exhume the remains of King Zwangendaba who was buried centuries ago in Namwanga land.
The late Zwangendaba, Paramount chief of the Ngoni people died in 1848 and buried in Namwanga land at a place called Mititi in Kapwila village, about 40 km West of Nakonde district.
The Namwanga speaking people resolved not to allow their tribal cousins, the Ngonis, to exhume the remains of their warrior and King Zwangendaba during a 6-hour meeting held in the Council Chambers in Nakonde yesterday.
Chieftainess Nawaitwika chaired the extra-ordinary meeting convened by the Namwanga executive committee, and was attended by Village headmen and Namwanga Royal family members.
The meeting had only one item on the agenda and that was to allow or not to allow the Ngonis to exhume the remains of Zwangendaba.
At the end of the deliberations, it was unanimously resolved that Ngonis will not be allowed to go ahead with their plans to exhume the remains of their late paramount chief, Zwangendaba.
The Namwanga council of elders based its rejection on various reasons, these included the fact that the Ngoni King has been lying in that grave for 164 years now.
The council also argued that the Namwangas are the ones who have been taking care of the graveyard, which they said, is still traceable.
They added that during Zwangendaba death the Warriors who also allegedly stole livestock, and other things damaged so many things in the area
They also claimed that it is believed that even cases of crime against humanity were committed by the same warriors as most of the local people died during the same period of fighting.
They explained that many women were also abused both sexually and socially, while others were being snatched from their husbands and forced to start piecing their ears, which was not a Namwanga traditional practice.
Other reasons highlighted were that the exhuming of the remains of Zwangendaba and rebury them in Eastern Province would be tantamount to stealing history from the Namwanga land.
They added that plans to exhume the remains of Zwangendaba would not make any positive impact on the two tribes except confusing the future generation both academically and socially.
The committee further explained that it would be more sensible if the Ngonis from South Africa were the ones claiming for the remains of Zwangendaba and not the local ones because he is buried in Zambia and where they want to rebury him is still in Zambia.
They said that the other serious thing is that the burial site for Zwangendaba has been gazetted and declared as a National heritage site.
Meanwhile, Chieftainess Nawaitwika says Paramount chief Mpezeni deliberate move to use this year’s N’cwala ceremony as an arena to convince Bemba’s chiefs to allow him to exhume the late King’s remains.
The Chieftainess noted that she finds it strange for Chief Mpezeni to use the Nc’wala ceremony as a platform to invite Bemba chiefs so that he could get their green light to exhume the remains of the late King Zwangendaba in Bemba land.
In November last year, Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people visited the burial site of Zwangendaba in Nakonde district where he expressed the intentions to exhume Zwangendaba’s remains and to take them to eastern Province for reburying.
The Ngonis want the remains of Zwangendaba to be re-buried at Feni in Chipata district in the Eastern Province.
Feni is an historical place for the Ngonis because it marked the final settlement after the tribal wars and has since became the headquarters of the Ngonis.
In starting the process of exhuming and taking the remains to the final resting ground of the Ngoni warrior, Paramount Chief Mpezeni visited Nakonde district and met Chieftainess Nawaitwika of the Namwanga people.
Paramount chief Mpezeni paid glowing tributes to the Namwanga tribe and all the people of Muchinga Province for taking care of the grave of their warrior.
The Chief also gave one of the local people, Charity Nachivula, of Mititi Village, KR500 cash in appreciating the role she has played with others in taking care of the grave yard of Zwangendaba.
The Ngoni indunas could not be immediately reached for a comment.