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Chief Dambuza bans residents from ploughing

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NGOBELWENI — Chief Dambuza Lukhele has barred residents of Ngobelweni from ploughing their fields because they allegedly defied his order to construct a house for his junior wife.

This ban, which was first communicated to the residents two weeks ago, comes after the first rains of the season and all farmers are looking forward to tilling their land.

Chief Dambuza is a former minister of Agriculture and he is currently a member of the Ludzidzini Council.

Ngobelweni is situated past Sithobelweni and falls under the Khubuta constituency in the Shiselweni region.

When a reporter from this publication visited the area on Saturday, the ban was evident in that vast stretches of land had not been tilled.

This has left residents of the area bitter because the recent rains were enough for the ploughing season to start.

According to sources from the area, residents were recently instructed to construct a hut and a cattle byre in a homestead occupied by the chief’s junior wife.

However, some of the residents did not participate in the construction project saying they would only work (kuhlehla) at the royal kraal not at Chief Dambuza’s new home (lilawu).

In a meeting convened on Saturday, the chief castigated the residents for disrespecting him and he warned them against straying from the normal way of doing things.

He said if the residents had fully participated in the construction of the new home, they would have finished it to allow time to concentrate on ploughing their fields.

"I commissioned you to construct the royal kraal’s hut and cattle byre. Now rains have come and the project is not yet finished. How will you juggle farming with the project?" Chief Dambuza wondered.

He said he recently went to check on progress at the construction site and he was disappointed to find only five people working on the project.

He advised the residents to stick to the fundamental values of the Swazi way of life, which are based on respect for the elders and communal projects.

The chief said he wanted the project completed soon as he was keen to set foot in its yard.

He said it would be hard for the residents to work on the construction project and plough their fields simultaneously. Chief Dambuza said another reason why the residents should not take to the fields was because grazing land was burnt by wild fires and the grass was still in the early stages of growing therefore cattle have to be taken out to the fields to graze.

"You cannot rush ploughing because there is not enough grass since the rains that have fallen are the first rains," he said.

The chief said if residents started ploughing, livestock would starve due to lack of grass in the area.

"It will only be after the next wave of rains that the land will be ready for you to plough," he said.

When called for further comment yesterday, Chief Dambuza was shocked to learn that a journalist was present at the community meeting. "What you did is tantamount to spying," he said.

He turned around and said he had not barred the residents from ploughing.

"I said if they had been diligent they would have finished the construction project before the rains came," he said.

However, during the meeting he said the residents should not plough their fields as yet.

Interviewed, residents confirmed that they were barred from ploughing their fields for defying an order to construct the new umphakatsi.


"A fortnight ago, the chief’s runner (umgijimi) informed residents to stop farming until the project was complete," a reliable source said.

Dambuza’s mission to unmask Times source


NGOBELWENI — Chief Dambuza Lukhele is on a mission to unmask the Time of Swazilands’ source in his area.

Addressing close to 60 residents on Saturday, the chief sternly warned them that there was a ‘spy’ in the area who was colluding with journalists.

Last week Thursday a reporter from this publication called the chief to enquire about the reports that he had barred residents from ploughing.

"I’ll place a suggestion box at the royal kraal. Whosoever suspects anyone to have leaked information to the Times of Swaziland will drop the name of the person in that box," the chief said. Lukhele likened the source to a snake.

He said it was easy to detect the presence of a snake through its hissing. Likewise, he said the source could be a disgruntled person who might have said something inferring that he was a friend with journalists.

"I will not tolerate this. I’ll not stay with a ‘spy’ here," Chief Dambuza said.

The chief wondered if the source was a new settler in the area since the behaviour of leaking out information was new.

"This behaviour of leaking information is unbecoming. I was called by a Times reporter on Thursday and asked me about the banning of farming in the area. Even if it was true, what is the rationale of leaking confidential information of the area?" he wondered. The chief said the sources were demonic and satanic with ulterior motives.

Lukhele said he had an inkling of who the source was, but preferred that the community identify the suspect on their own.

He said no sane resident would give information about the area to the media.

Take advantage of first rains - minister


MBABANE — Minister of Agriculture, Clement Dlamini, said farmers should take advantage of the first rains to plough.

Commenting on Chief Dambuza Lukhele’s barring of his subjects from ploughing, the minister said the issue was puzzling.

"First rains are the ones conducive for ploughing at the height of climate change. People who plough during the first rains have received good harvest since you cannot trust second rains," he said.

Dlamini wondered why the chief banned residents on the grounds of allowing grass to grow. "As far as we know, livestock graze in the veld (emadlelweni). So it’s unclear why farmers cannot plough because ploughing happens in farms and grazing is in the veld," wondered the minister.


He advised the chiefdom to seek help from his ministry on issues of farming. "I will not comment on the uncompleted royal kraal save to say they should address the matter in the proper forum," he said.


- This Chief is seriously not ok...how do u go about takin a new young wife ugugile and expect people to build a house for her on ur behalf... we work so hard to build our families homes yena nje ufuna kwentelwa, yati uhlazisa the King since the land langafuni ilinywe belongs to him and yena nje is just an overseer.....oh! poor Swaziland. He even goes to the extent of tryin to find out who leaked this "terrible story", what happened to freedom of speech?? May God help us as a nation...
September 24, 2012, 5:01 pm, phathizwe

- If culture oppresses people, something must be done urgently. How do you interpret such violation of human rights? Culture must not overide human rights and freedoms.The next thing we will hear will be that residents must pay lobola for the junior wife. This is so sad.
September 24, 2012, 5:01 pm, banele

- I read this article with an eye catching Heading ,"Chief dambuza bans residents from ploughing". I personal got shock, how can some one with a high profile can abuse his power to starve the innocent people of the area. Does this Chief supply the people with their daily meal, such that he forceful compel them to do his useless errand,instead of working on their fields. What is the meaning of this Kuhlehla? On my own understand this is (kuhlehla) is voluntary, i be alive that this is corruption."Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error... They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only... If (free enquiry) be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged."
September 24, 201, 5:01 pm, Mbyiselo Shongwe

- Dear sir This shows that people are doing as they please under the tinkhundla system. this is selfish and pure madness of the system unveiled. Thanks
Setember 24, 2012, 5:00 pm, emdlamini

- People should not be held at ransom by people who demand respect. Dambu must know that respect is earned, not demanded. This is what makes people lose confidence in the current. Dambu should not point a gun to his foot! People should not starve for the sake of their livestock. Inkhomo ayimudli umuntfu, ngumuntfu lodla inkhomo. What impression is Dambu creating to global community about the country. YEKELA KU DAMBUZA!
September 24, 2012, 5:00 pm, CEDA

 - It is very shocking to learn that we still have people who think like Dambuza; who think that they own people. Kumangalisa mbamba. I just hope the king will bring to order all the so called 'chiefs' who think like him (Dambuza). Was he really a minister of Agriculture?
September 24, 2011, 5:00 pm, Sandie M

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