President Michael Sata has cancelled a meeting with the Bashilubemba after they openly told him through his emissaries that they would not rescind their decision on the installation of Henry Kanyanta Sosala as the rightful heir to the Chitimukulu throne.
The Bemba chiefs revealed to the Daily Nation that the Head of State had sent four senior lawyers among them state counsels to the chiefdom to seek an audience with Bashilubemba over the acrimony created by government over the installation of the Chitimukulu.
Meanwhile the traditional leaders have confirmed that the Head of State had refused to withdraw over 500 armed paramilitary police officers stationed in Kasama district and at the Chitimukulu palace until the cancelled meeting took place.
They said President Sata sought audience with the Bashilubemba through the lawyers he had sent to Kasama last week in an effort to resolve the issues surrounding the installation of Henry Sosala as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.
They said, however, that they were not sure why President Sata had requested to meet them when they had already installed the Mwine Lubemba.
The meeting which was scheduled to take place this Friday has been cancelled indefinitely.
“We can confirm to you that last week President Sata sent four senior lawyers some of whom are state counsels if not all to meet bashilubemba. These people said the President wanted to meet the Bashilubemba and the meeting was supposed to take place this Friday but could not tell us the agenda for the meeting. But as far as the Bashilubemba are concerned, we already have a paramount chief and we do not know what that meeting is all about,” they said.
And the traditional leaders have accused President Sata of not telling Zambians the truth about his differences with Henry Sosala, the current Chief Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II.
They said it was clear that the Head of State had personal differences with the Mwine Lubemba but opted to punish the Bemba people by interfering in the traditional installation.
The chiefs also complained about the presence of uniformed paramilitary police who have occupied the place for the Chitimukulu designate.
They said the officers spoken to revealed they had instructions not to leave the palace until issues surrounding Sosala’s installation were resolved.
“The presence of the police is scaring villagers including the workers at the palace. No one can go there and villagers tasked to work on palace have also abandoned the place due to fear. From the look of things the Head of State had his own mission in the chiefdom but we want to assure bemba’s that we have a Mwine Lubemba and all the procedure has been followed and we also challenge President Sata to tell the nation the truth about him and the Chitimukulu.
“There is no war here and we wondered why the police are saying they were sent to bring law and order by the President.
The Bemba Royal Establishment was supposed to hold the public enthronement ceremony for the paramount chief after he had been installed as the Mwine Lubemba but cancelled the celebration after the State unleashed 500 paramilitary police to interfere with the ceremony.