Mpezeni laughs off Kampyongo’s government trophy remarks

Written by on February 27, 2019



PARAMOUNT Chief Mpezeni has described as “a joke” the statement, by Home Affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo, on the animal hides won during the Nc’wala traditional ceremony as government trophy.

“Nichimbuya chabe. Nyama sinasila kudala. Ngani ni Leopard, ungaipeze kuti, said the paramount chief. (It’s just a joke. There is no more wildlife. Where can you find a leopard this time?)

Minister Kampyongo, when he officially opened this year’s Nc’wala traditional ceremony, observed that his ministry would try and find a way to engage the traditional leadership in Eastern Province over the use of what he referred to as “government trophy.”

In a rather jocular manner, the minister stated, “If I take off the hat as acting Minister of Defence, from where I am standing as Minister of Home Affairs, I can see a lot of potential criminals. I see government trophy in the hands of the young, the old, and it is an offence in Zambia to be in possession of government trophy.”

But Chief Mpezeni said the Ngonis, like other tribes, have always used animal hides for their traditional ceremonies from time immemorial.

“Nivakudala. Where can you kill or find a wild animal today?” Said the paramount chief.

But National Parks and Wildlife director, Mr. Paul Zyambo, said that every person in possession of wild animal skin, whether for traditional ceremonies or any other use, should possess a certificate of ownership.

“Even if they are old skins, they are holding them illegally because it is an offence to be in possession of government trophy. They still need to apply for a certificate of ownership from us,” said Mr. Zyambo.

“We also know that some people with animal skins at traditional ceremonies may be in possession of certificates of ownership while others may not. What we are doing is sensitize everyone on the need to secure certificates of ownerships,” he said.

“The certificate can even be issued in a day but every skin has its own fee depending on the animal involved,” said Mr Zyambo

Chief Affairs and Traditional Affairs minister Lawrence Sichalwe said that traditional ceremonies were special cultural events which should be granted exemption on wildlife skins.

“These are special events which teach us about where we have come from and who we are as a people. Wearing animal hides may be one way of doing that.

“You heard what Mr Kampyongo said during the Nc’wala ceremony. He was speaking as a law enforcement officer, and obviously for him, it may be necessary to come in and sensitize the people” observed Mr. Sichalwe.

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