Three Lunda chiefs to protest against a magistrate’s ‘insults’

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Three Lunda chiefs to protest against a magistrate’s ‘insults’

Mwense, Feb 23/13, ZANIS—– Three Lunda Chiefs in Luapula Province are planning to make a formal protest to the Provincial Permanent Secretary’s office over what they have termed as “insulting remarks” by a Magistrate who presided over a case that involved some Lunda subjects who were cultivating in a forest reserve area.

Chief Lukwesa of the Lunda people in Mwense District disclosed this when Luapula Province Permanent Secretary, Mbololwa Muyaba, paid a courtesy call on him at his palace.

He said Lunda Chiefs, who included Mulundu, Lubunda and himself were incensed with the remarks made by a Judicial Officer who was handling the case.

He said the magistrate alleged that Lunda Chiefs were corrupt and were thieves, resulting into a rift between Government and the traditional rulers.

Chief Lunda said the development had upset the traditional rulers including Senior Chief Mwata Kazembe and the three were planning to make a formal protest to the Permanent Secretary’s Office because the remarks were serious and the Magistrate needed to apologise to the chiefs for the remarks he made.

Chief Lukwesa added that Chiefs and Government should work together in order to bring development to the people instead of trading insults.

He said the forest reserve area was a huge track of land from which Chiefs were asking for de-gazetting only 10 or 20 per cent of it in order to let their subjects make a living from farming.

He affirmed that the Chiefs are still annoyed with the remarks made by the magistrate though the case has been referred to the High Court and would soon be launching a formal protest at her office over the matter.

And Mwense District Forest Officer, James Chanda, confirmed that there was a rift between the Forest Department and the traditional leaders in the district because of the illegal use of part of the forest reserve area by some Lunda subjects for farming purposes.

Mr Chanda said  law is the law and must be followed by everybody and in enforcing the provisions of law sometimes there were inherent challenges of such a nature which were inevitable.

He said the Lunda subjects were cultivating in the forest area and were arrested and were currently on bail as the case was referred to the High Court.

The forestry officer, however,  agreed that there was need to de-gazette part of the land for the subjects to live on.