STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
THE much anticipated â€œChuundu Chaitwaâ€ meeting of the Tonga people in Monze yesterday ended in confusion after fights erupted among the delegates.
Tempers flared after a representative of Senior Chief Monze asked the gathering to wait for the meeting between the chiefs and President Lungu before coming up with resolutions.
This angered the youths who accused the chiefs of being bought by the Patriotic Front (PF) against the interests of their own people.
According to impeccable witnesses at the scene, the youths were further incensed after the organisers refused to give them a chance to address the gathering.
This prompted a fight between the youths who wanted to mount the podium and those who wanted to keep them away.
Other delegates joined in the fight accusing the youths of having been sponsored by the PF to cause confusion.
The police, however, managed to quell the confusion.
Some people were injured and the meeting was stopped for some time beforeÂ it proceeded to make resolutions.
Meanwhile, the committee of the Chuundu Chaitwa meeting of the Tonga people says it has believed in unity since independence in 1964, CHOMBA MUSIKA reports.
Speaking when he read the resolutions at the end of the meeting yesterday, convenor Vincent Malambo said: â€œWe believe in the unitary state and the talk of secession has never been part of our agenda; we value the peace our forefathers fought for. Our chiefs who expressed anger at Mr Chamaâ€™s (PF secretary-general Davies Chama) statement have never publicly or privately spoken of secession because they value national unity,â€ Mr Malambo said.
He called on citizens to nurture and guard jealously the â€œOne Zambia One Nationâ€ motto.
And another convenor, Dr Kabeta Muleya, said the people of Southern Province are peaceful and non-tribal.
And committee chairperson Edson Hamakowa dispelled media assertions that the Chuundu Chaitwa meeting had been cancelled.
â€œThere were reports on radio that this meeting was not going to take place, this was done by people who want to disturb our meeting and we shall not allow any person to speak over issues that are not part of our agenda. Those are the same people misleading others,â€ Mr Hamakowa said.
STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka