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Chief demands E90 000 trubute from farmers

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KANGCAMPHALALA – Sugar cane farmers in the area are disgruntled that their Chief, Mshikashika Ngcamphalala, is demanding tribute of E5 000 (setfulo) per scheme.

Setfulo is the tribute that is paid to the chief one pays allegiance to.
The chiefdom has about 18 sugar cane farming schemes and each is allegedly expected to pay E5 000.
This totals to E90 000 which the schemes are due to pay to the chief for their allegiance.

Ironically, sources in the area said members of the sugar cane associations were tentatively earning around E2 000 a year each on average.
The chief has, through his inner council, sent letters to the various sugar cane schemes in the area, reminding them to pay the ‘agreed’ E5 000.
According to a letter stamped by the Royal Kraal, the farmers are urged to pay the gift to the chief with immediate effect.
Some of the sugar cane farmers, who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, said the money demanded was too high while they were earning less than the E5 000 per year.

One of the sources said it was difficult to raise the matter with the inner council.
“If you raise such a matter in my area, you will be viewed as radical and you will be victimised. Therefore, most people are complaining in hushed tones,” the insider said.

The source continued: “We are Swazis and we believe in the culture of paying allegiance with gifts but it should be voluntary.”
Farmers denied that they consented to the arrangement of paying E5 000, claiming the idea was imposed.


Chief cites consensus from royal kraal


KANGCAMPHALALA – Chief Mshikashika Ngcamphalala has said he demands that money based on a consensus that was reached at the area’s royal kraal.

In the interview, the chief was jocund; speaking calmly and sharing jokes while the inner council (Bandlancane) sat on the veranda and would every now and then praise Chief ‘Msutfu’ and add something to support his statements. Well-known as a disciplinarian, the chief welcomed this reporter and answered all questions cooperatively.

 “That’s an open secret. First things first, sugar cane farming in the area did not come with Swaziland Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE). It’s an old programme that started sometime back,” he said.
He said in the past, a chief in the area was made a member of the schemes so that he could benefit from the proceeds.
“However, it was later agreed that a chief could not be a member of all the associations. Therefore, it was resolved that each scheme should pay E5 000 a year,” he said.

Chief Mshikashika said scheme members benefited yearly from the proceeds and said the chief deserved something as well (tetfulo).
“The schemes are tilling the same soil governed by the same chief. This was unanimously resolved in a meeting. The people decided that the gifts (tetfulo) should be budgeted,” he said.

He said some felt that the chief should have a certain percentage in the proceeds but he preferred that a standard fee of E5 000 be set. “Only my successor can change that. I saw it improper to have a certain percentage,” the chief explained.

He said jealous individuals had rushed to the media because they were against the good idea embraced by the rest of the farmers in the area.
Chief Mshikashika said the community embraced dialogue as a solution to all problems, saying those who were aggrieved should have voiced their concerns internally, and not to have rushed to the media. “Bantfu abayifuni intfo lenhle ngoba kuyindalo yaNkulunkulu kutsi bantfu behlukane ngemicondvo.

Loosely translated: “People do not like seeing good things; anyways, it’s God’s nature that people have diverse thoughts,” he said.
The chief said some schemes were getting E24 000 each in a year while others received less than that. However, some sugar cane farmers in the area disputed that, saying most members got around E4 000 each but E2 000 on average.


‘I saved a cattle rustler’s life’

KANGCAMPHALALA – “I saved a rustler’s life by advising him to leave,” KaNgcamphalala Chief said on Saturday.

Chief Mshikashika was responding to a question that he had evicted a ‘troublesome’ rustler who had allegedly stolen some of His Majesty King Mswati III’s cattle.

“I would like to put the record straight. I did not evict him; it was the community who resolved that he should leave this place and go settle elsewhere,” Chief Mshikashika explained.
He said when he took over the chieftaincy reins he found that the evicted rustler Sigulugwane Zwane was not somebody who handled himself well; hence he was not popular among the community (akanambitseki lapha endzweni).

The chief wondered how lawyers worked because the evicted man shrewdly attached people’s property under questionable circumstances. “He quarrelled with a child of a Sikosana family in the area. Through the help of his lawyer he attached a herd of 15 cattle belonging to the parents. Why would he attach cattle not belonging to the accused and attach cattle belonging to his parents?” he wondered.

The chief said that incident made Zwane unpopular and led to the people of that sub-area to seek audience with the Royal Kraal to have him evicted. Zwane was finally evicted a week ago as the community emphasised that they did not want to see him in the area.
Chief Mshikashika said Zwane was also found with two cattle branded HM.

“We are neighboured by His Majesty’s farm here. There is only one person with that brand ‘HM’ hence it was easy to note that the cattle belonged to the King. Macaleni fined him 24 cattle,” he said. Macaleni Dlamini is the overseer of His Majesty’s cattle. He said the eviction was a blessing in disguise since he could have been killed by the many aggrieved people in the area.


Community faces 52 cattle fine

KANGCAMPHALALA – The community stands to be fined 52 head of cattle for harbouring a rustler who allegedly stole His Majesty’s cattle.

This has led to an outcry from members of the community who said the rustler had been caught many times with stolen cattle but nothing had happened to him until he allegedly stole the King’s livestock. “He would rob people of their cattle; the area’s authority did not punish him. We have to suffer for his sins,” a source said. A source said the chiefdom had more than 300 homesteads and each had been ordered to pay a cow.

KaNgcampahalala Chief, Mshikashika said he had tasked residents to find a way in which they could clear the area of the rid the area of the man who stole His Majesty’s cattle.

“Nothing has been decided. I said they should find a way of how we could do it. Zwane was found with two cattle belonging to the King. Macaleni Dlamini, the overseer of the King’s cattle, fined and attached 24 of his cattle. To clear the name of the chiefdom we have to pay double the figure of the 24 cattle,” he said.

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