Bemba chiefs stand firm

Bemba Chiefs have dispelled media speculation that senior chief Mwamba had apologised to President Sata, resigned his position and was planning to move out of Kasama.

And Chief Mwamba’s family sources told the Daily Nation from Kasama that the chief had not written any letter to the Bashilubemba announcing his abdication.

The traditional leader said there was no way a Bemba chief would succumb to pressure from government as they were installed by the royal establishment and not the PF government.

He said that as far as the royal council was concerned the resolutions made by the council rejecting President Sata’s dethronement were still standing as per meeting held on Monday.

The chief explained that only chief Chimba could sanction such a move and that the chiefs do not accept the interference by President Michael Sata into the affairs of the Bashilubemba.

The family members also said as far as they were concerned there was no way the chief would resign his position without notifying both the Bashilubemba and the family.

They explained that if the chief wanted to abdicate his seat he was first supposed to inform the royal council who were expected to give their position on the matter.

The family said as far as they were concerned there was nothing like that in the Bembaland and that no letter had been written to Chief Chimba who is the chairman for the Bashilubemba.

“We are not aware of such a move. I was with the senior chief a few minutes ago and he expressed ignorance on the matter. He is supposed to notify us and the Bashilubemba if he has any plans to step down but the question is who wrote the so called letter? Who forced him to sign the letter in question? As far as we are concerned someone must have had a hand in this whole thing,” they said.

And opposition MMD vice president for politics Michael Kaingu has accused President Michael Sata of interfering in the affairs of traditional leaders.

Dr. Kaingu wondered when Senior Chief Mwamba of the Bemba people of Kasama became a masquerade when he has been there for a long time.

He said that it was wrong for President Sata to meddle into traditional issues by de-gazetting chiefs he did not like.

“This is not the first time he is doing this. Do you remember that he threatened chief Mazimawe of the Ngoni speaking people of Chipata; he also threatened chiefs in North Western and Western Provinces respectively. That is his nature but I have to remind him that he should not handle issues to deal with traditional leadership with impulse,” he said.

Dr. Kaingu observed that President Sata was taking the country back into colonial times where people were living in constant fear for their own lives, adding that the action to de-gazette a senior chief was unacceptable and should not be allowed.

The chiefs resolved during a Meeting on Monday that they would not be threatened if government went ahead and withdrew their allowances as it would be for the benefit of the people as they have declined to be ruled by outsiders.

The installation of chiefs, they argued was not a function of State House or government but the traditional Bemba Council of which President Sata was not a member.

The Chiefs said they were aware of plans to prevent chief Mwamba from becoming the next Chitimukulu hence the decision by President Sata.