President Michael Sata has described UPND president Hakainde Hichilema advise to amicably resolve the stand-off between government and Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba speaking people of Northern Province as useless and unconstructive.
In a response letter to Hichilema dated December, 30, 2013 obtained by the Daily Nation, President Sata acknowledged Hichilema’s letter saying it was useless and unconstructive.
“REF: Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. We acknowledge receipt of your useless, unconstructive letter dated 27th December, 2013, and we don’t owe anybody an apology for your useless actions,” President Sata said.
He said told Hichilema that all Chiefs fall under the President and not under Hichilema or the UPND, therefore, “we are not going to be reckless on the appointment of Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba speaking people.”
President Sata told Hichilema that he was free to appoint Henry Kanyanta Sosala as his Paramount Chief.
“I sympathise and feel sorry for you as you have never been nominated or elected as a councillor nor have you ever been nominated or elected as a Member of Parliament, therefore, your leadership is more of guess work than anything else,” President Sata said.
In his letter Hichilema reminded President Sata not to interfere with the traditional leadership and stop ridiculing traditional leaders in the manner he was doing.
Hichilema said that the current stand-off between the President and the Bemba Kingdom was working against government and it was therefore important to have the matter resolved in the soonest possible time for the benefit of the people of Zambia.
“We again write regarding your administration’s misguided decision to ridicule chiefs and interfere in the internal traditional process of chiefdoms. There is a growing national chorus of voices expressing deep disappointment and even outrage at what this strange behaviour communicates,” he said.
Hichilema advised President Sata to consider reflecting on his past conduct where he had ultimately ridiculed traditional leaders, creating avoidable misunderstandings with the traditional leadership.
“Consider the following events that have happened in the last two years of your Presidency, you publicly denounced the Litunga of the Lozi people by alleging that he stole land from other chiefs and gave it to the white people in exchange for an admiral’s uniform. You threatened that you would degazette Chief Nzamane and Chief Madzimawe for merely holding a view different from yours and you equally threatened Chief Jumbe and told him that you were aware of the happenings in his private bedroom and more recently you degazetted Chief Mwamba of the Bemba people,” he highlighted.
Hichilema said that such conduct was acrimonious to the governance of the country,”more recently, after Chief Mwamba was chosen by the Bashilubemba to become the Chitimukulu, you stopped his ascension to the Chitimukulu throne by deploying Policemen at the Palace. In short, your administration has embraced a policy that is bringing the presidency into public odium and disrepute. The presidency is an institution representing more than 13 million Zambians and is not just for Patriotic Front.”
He urged President Sata to let the will of Bashilubemba prevail without hindrance over the Chitimukulu matter