Adamant Bemba chiefs snub govt delegation

Adamant Bemba chiefs have vehemently refused to meet a government delegation at a neutral venue in Kasama to resolve the impasse caused by President Sata following his decision to degazette Senior Chief Mwamba.

The government delegation dispatched to Kasama by President Sata had proposed that the meeting should take place at a neutral venue but the chiefs demanded that the talks should be held at the traditional homestead ku Lubemba. The delegation led by Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba is expected to hold a meeting with chiefs at Lubemba to try and resolve the impasse. And the chiefs have maintained that Mr Henry Sosala(Senior Chief Mwamba) was still their installed senior chief who was still enjoying his reign despite governments interference.

Bemba chiefs confirmed this to the Daily Nation from Kasama yesterday but said as far as they were concerned they had no issues with government because they had made their resolutions clear.

The chiefs revealed that government had proposed to meet the bashilubemba at a common place in Kasama town but they declined and demanded that the meeting takes place ku Lubemba.

The government delegation was reportedly scared to go to the Mwinelubemba for fear that something bad would happen to it.  “We can confirm that government is sending a delegation to in an effort to resolve the issues surrounding the chieftainship of chief Mwamba. But they had earlier suggested that we meet in town at a common place but we have refused because we have a place where such issues could be discussed.  “Why should we go to a place suggested by them when it is them with issues with us so they must follow us. We are happy to say that Nkandu Luo is not part of the delegation which will be lead by Kasama Member of Parliament Godfrey Mwamba,” they said.

The chiefs have assured government that nothing bad would happen to the emissary because Bemba’s were peaceful people and that they believed in dialogue.

The traditional leaders said they were waiting to hear what government would be discussing with them as they had already made their resolutions. And Mr. Mwamba confirmed his trip to Kasama saying that he was visiting his constituency but would take the opportunity to meet the Bashilubemba and find out what their concerns were. But highly placed sources within the Patriotic Front (PF) government told the Daily Nation that Mr. Mwamba was an emissary sent to Kasama to quench the confusion or ‘fight’ President Sata had created between his office and that of the Chiefs.

The source said that Mr. Mwamba was specifically sent to hear Chiefs submissions over the position President Sata took to degazette Senior Chief Mwamba.

The PF officials said that President Sata who earlier sanctioned Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Professor Nkandu Luo to handle the matter was withdrawn at the last minute and replaced by Mr. Mwamba who was close to the Bashilubemba.

Mr. Mwamba who is also Kasama Central Member of Parliament is expected to be in Kasama to hold talks with traditional leaders and various stakeholders over the face-off between President Sata and degazetted Senior Chief Mwamba.

University Of Zambia students, armed with all sorts of missiles, last evening continued with their protests against the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel and went on rampage blocking Great Road thereby forcing motorists to divert to other roads.

Police reacted quickly but could not move into the campus for fear of confrontation and only stationed themselves at Munali round about where they directed motorists not to use the Great East road. The students earlier this week marched to Muvi studios to protest government’s decision to remove maize and fuel subsidies and later manhandled Sunday Chanda who they accused of being a PF symphathiser.