By Staff Reporter
Works and Transport deputy minister James Sankwasa has been accused of dishonouring traditional customs when he moved his livestock without the blessing of his traditional authority.
Sankwasa is said to have moved his cattle to Ikaba lands under the leadership of Chief of the Masubia, Chief Kisco Liswani III whose authority Sankwasa is accused of having disrespected.
At times like these when grazing grounds have become unfit for livestock, movement of livestock from lower to upper grounds or vice versa in the region happens, but under the customary laws.
Residents in the area say the politician ignored all tribal protocols including the relocation of his cattle, and in contrast with the law which requires mandatory veterinarian permits.
Second in command to Chief Liswani, Ngobela Albius Kamwi confirmed the news this week saying they have communicated with a relative of the minister who is said to be harbouring Sankwasa.
Kamwi said although it is not a deal breaker, though it is customary that the authority is informed of visitors in the area.
“One needs permission from the traditional authority so that, should something happen the traditional authority will be able to hear Sankwasa’s case. So we don’t know why they did not tell us that someone has brought their cattle in their care” he said, adding that they have communicated with the persons harboring Sankwasa’s cattle to come and explain themselves. “Our culture does not allow someone to accommodate people without informing the traditional authority.
This is very disrespectful to the leadership and it is punishable. It is not wrong to graze in the area, we must just be informed as the leadership in the authority and this is what they have not done.”
Kamwi said there are other farmers in Ikaba who have brought their cattle for grazing and only Sankwasa has decided to float protocol which as a leader he should be well acquainted with. He also highlighted that this was the first time the minister has brought his cattle into the area.
When put to Sankwasa, the Deputy Minister said he is not aware of any traditional rule violated and does not need permission for grazing from the chief.
Sankwasa said the migration is an annual routine and talks are done between family members who reside in that area.
“I don’t know what I have violated besides the complaints that I have too many cattle in the area.
But there are other people in the area, but why is it only my animals that need permission. Why do they want me to get permission and not everyone else ?” Sankwasa said, citing a witch-hunt against him.
He also added that this is indeed not the first time his cows are in the area and farmers in that vicinity also graze in his areas during flood season.
“People are just jealous and have no case. There is no one who needs permission for grazing. It would have been different if I was getting land in that area” he said.