OMUTHIYA – The Matotela people have threatened to break away from the Mafwe Traditional Authority, saying they have been overlooked for too long.
This was revealed by a community representative Michael Mukupi who said they have a committee in place that is working on the issue of establishing the Matotela Traditional Authority.
Mukupi claimed that as a sub-tribe, they are often undervalued and shunned by the traditional authority.
He also asserted they do not get preferences in projects meant for the community.
“First of all I would like to let you know that since the inception of the Mafwe royal house the Matotela people have not been receiving respect from that royal house nor recognition, and people we are sharing the royal house with have been calling us names – that we are lazy and stupid and poor at the same time,” he claimed.
The traditional authority falls under chief George Simasiku Mamili. The Matotela could be the third tribe to part ways with the Mafwe Traditional Authority after the Mayeyi and Mashi people. “It has [become] a great concern for us as Matotela to establish ourselves and have our royal house within the jurisdiction of the Matotela people,” Mukupi continued.
“That way we feel we have a way to help ourselves and cater for the affairs of the Matotela people. We are still concerned about the plundering of our timber at Liselo village, which is being sold to the Chinese without our knowledge as Matotela people – worst of all we don’t get to benefit in any way.”
Mukupi further said the chief has not visited their areas since becoming their leader, thus making them feel neglected.
A senior induna at the Mafwe Traditional Authority said the royal house would not comment on the matter as it is against its norms of dealing with complex issues.
“I appreciate your efforts but we wish not to delve into this issue – we don’t just cut through a lengthy matter like that, there are procedures,” he briefly said.
For a community that intends on designating and setting up a traditional authority, it will need to apply to the urban and rural development minister who will then study the matter for a decision.