Chief Mpezeni
Chief Mpezeni

PARAMOUNT Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people in Eastern Province says women can rule a country better than men because they have foresight.

And NGOCC board chairperson Mary Mulenga says traditional leaders should ensure that women have access to land.

Meanwhile, NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale says there is need for combined efforts in the fight against Gender Based Violence.

Speaking when the NGOCC delegation which was a mission of advocating for women access to land paid a courtesy call on him at Ephendukeni palace on Thursday, Mpezeni said he normally empowers women with land.

“Kankhalidwe ka umoyo wasu onse, oziba zaumoyo nimwanakazi, so apa mwamukambila kuti nao azimai azinkhala azitsogoleri monga mu ma political chani chani, mwanakazi alibwino kupambana seo. Even kaganizidwe neo nikayamba kuona mwanakazi angalamulire dziko kupambana seo analume (Our way of life, a woman knows about life, like you are saying that women should also be leaders in political parties, a woman is better than us. Even the reasoning, the way I look at things, a woman can rule a country better that us men),” he said.

Mpezeni said men were behind because they just wanted things for themselves.

He said he had incorporated about three women to be part of the people that preside over cases at his palace.

“Women are good when it comes to presiding over matters, you’ll find that what a woman will say will be different from what headman Maulao (his headman) will say,” he said.

He said it was bad to note that sometimes men go away with money when they harvest crops forgetting their wives.

Mpezeni said early marriages that were on the increase in the province are caused by poverty.

He said he was happy that NGOCC met the mayor and the town clerk on matters relating to land.

Mpezeni hoped the local authority would listen to the NGOCC, adding that they sometimes do not listen to people like him because they were in the village.

And Mulenga said it was good that the Paramount Chief was already giving out land to women.

She said the voice of the traditional leadership and that of the local authority was important in empowering women with land.

“I am happy about the issues surrounding land. There is property grabbing when the spouse dies. Continue helping women in terms of women having land,” she said.

On early marriages, Mulenga appealed to the traditional leader to continue discouraging early marriages in his area.

“When you speak your message and the headmen speak, the message will get down to the people. Your voice is very important on these matters ba Nkosi,” she said.

Mulenga said one challenge that women face in accessing land was information compared to men.

And Mwale said the NGOCC was shocked to see that young girls were being married off around Manda Primary School

“We went to this school and we found that young girls aged between 12 and above are being married off. We asked them why they were being married off, they told us that parents did not have money to take them to school. So if young girls are married off, it means that their future is destroyed. So we feel if a woman has land then she can manage to do farming and send children to school,” she said.

Mwale said the NGOCC decided to meet the Paramount Chief on matters relating to women accessing land.

“We recognise the authority that you have so that you can help speak for women to other chiefs and even the council,” said Mwale.

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