Namwanga’s not decided on the exhuming of Zwangendaba remains

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Plans to exhume the remains of the Ngoni warrior, King Zwangendaba in Nakonde district of Muchinga Province have taken a new twist as Namwanga speaking people claim that they have not yet decided on the matter.

Namwanga  executive committee in Nakonde district  will convene an extra-ordinary meeting today to discuss on whether to allow the Ngonis exhume their chief Zwangendaba’s  remains from  Nakonde district or not.    

The Ngonis, under the reign of Paramount Chief Mpezeni  made a dramatic move to reclaim the remains of the Ngoni warrior killed over 164 years ago during the Shaka wars when they made a  first- ever visit to the paramount chiefs’  grave site in November last year.

Chieftainess Nawaitwika of Namwanga people confirmed this in a telephone interview with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Nakonde today.

Chieftainess Nawaitwika who is also the Executive Chairperson said that this comes in the wake of the recent media reports that the Ngoni people wants to exhume the remains of their Chief and rebury them in the Eastern Province.

She said the Namwanga people have never been consulted on the matter have only being hearing this through media reports.

The Chieftainess further said the resolution of today’s meeting is what will determine whether the Ngonis should go ahead to exhume the remains of Zwangendaba or not.

She added that the meeting will also include all the village head persons of Nakonde district as well as those from Namwanga royal family. 

 The late Zwangendaba, Paramount chief of the Ngoni people died in 1848 and was buried in Namwanga land at a place called Mititi in Kapwila village , about 40 Km West of the border down.

In November last year, Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people visited the burial site of Zwangendaba in Nakonde.

Before proceeding to the grave of Zwangendaba, Paramount Chief Mpezeni who was accompanied by his Induna George Zulu and Muchinga Province permanent secretary Charles Sipanje, expressed his intentions to exhume the remains of the warrior but the Namwangas have not publically consented to the idea.

Speaking to journalists in Nakonde shortly after visiting the gravesite of Zwangendaba, where two stones were also picked and taken to the Eastern Province as proof of having visited the place, Ngoni Induna, George Zulu said the exhuming of the remains of Zwangendaba and reburying them at Feni in Chipata would form part of 2013 Ncwala traditional ceremony.

Zwangendaba was pierced in the chest and died near Kapwila and was buried at a Village now called Mititi, about 40 km from Nakonde border along the Nakonde / Mbala Road in Muchinga Province.

Zwangendaba grave is now a National Monument under the National Heritage Conservation Commission.

Paramount Chief Mpezeni, who was guest of honour at Mutambe during the Nsonge traditional ceremony of the Bisa people of Chibesakunda’s Chiefdom in Chinsali district, announced the move to reclaim his fore father’s remains when he met the Bemba chiefs at Chief Chibesakunda’s palace.

Paramount Chief Mpezeni said that he has since written to President Michael Sata to seek permission to go ahead with the mission.

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 KR500 cash in appreciating the role she has played with others in taking care of the grave yard of Zwangendaba.