——Confusion has marred burial arrangements for the late senior chief Tafuna of the Lungu people of Mpulungu after family members seriously differed on the burial site .
Meanwhile, some family members have threatened to transport the body of the deceased to Mporokoso district so that the late chief could be put to rest there.
But Mpulungu Member of Parliament, Freedom Sikazwe, has advised the loyal family to sort out their differences, saying government did not want to interfere in traditional matters.
The confusion arose after some Indunas (Bafilolo) refused to have the late senior chief Tafuna Chimwando to be buried at Mbete in Mpulungu, the original burial site for the Lungu senior chieftaincy, insisting that the deceased did not pass through the traditional mill when he ascended to the throne 45 years ago.
The Indunas are arguing that as far as they were concerned, the late chief was not recognized traditionally though he was gazetted by the government.
They have proposed another site where the chiefs’ children are buried to be considered for his burial.
‘’If we insist and say let’s just forget that he ascended to power without following the right procedures so let’s bury him at Mbete like his predecessors. We will be breaking our culture and tradition and the people will not forgive us,’’ One Induna warned.
But this stance by the Indunas and some Lungu chiefs has incensed some family members who have insisted that if the people of Mpulungu were not willing to recognize the deceased as their chief, then the body would be transported to Mporokoso (Ku Malaila) for burial.
The Lungu clan extends as far as Mporokoso district in Northern Province.
Chiefs Chitoshi and Chisheta of Mporokoso , who are also attending the funeral at Isoko palace in Mpulungu, have totally disagreed to have the senior chief buried at any other place apart from Mbete, saying the action would be like an insult to the clan.
But chiefs Chitimbwa and Chinakila of Mpulungu are for the idea that burying the deceased at Mbete would be a serious transgression on tradition, saying they did not want to be cited.
The standoff has dragged on for the past two days now delaying the burial that was supposed to take place in the early hours of Saturday.
Speaking when he visited the funeral house, Mpulungu MP, Freedom Sikazwe, said the divisions were a recipe for anarchy with potential to divide the Lungus.
Mr Sikazwe advised the two parties to find a lasting solution by Monday (today) and chart the way forward.
‘’There is a lot of tension and expectations from the people out there…all eyes are on you and we are expecting you to find a solution in the quickest possible time and as government we do not want to intervene because this is a family issue,’’ he told the gathering.
By 18:00rs yesterday, the meetings had continued but with no lasting solution.
Some of the chiefs attending the funeral are Chitoshi, Chisheta, MukupaKaoma, Nondo, Zombe, Chinakila and Chitimbwa.
Northern Province Minister, Obvious Chisala, also made a brief stop -over at the funeral house in the company of his Permanent Secretary, Hlobotha Nkunika.
Mr Chisala later addressed the chiefs and Indunas and advised that tradition be followed to the latter, saying ‘’a tribe without culture and tradition was dead’’.
Senior chief Tafuna Chimwando of the Lungu people of Mpulungu died on Monday last week in Mbala General Hospital after an illness.
He was 88 years old and has been on the throne for 64 years, 45 of which he served as Tafuna in Mpulungu whilst the rest he served as Chief Mukupa Kaoma in Mporokoso.
He is survived by 13 children, 66 grandchildren, 59 great grandchildren and five (5) great-great grandchildren.