Bashilubemba thwart Chitimukulu palace coup

The Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) has accused government of trying to appoint a new paramount chief Chitimukulu using some sub-chiefs in Mpika district.

This is according to a letter dated July 16, 2014 written to Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo and signed by 12 representatives of the BRE.

The Bashilubemba have charged that the appointment of new Chitimukulu was schemed after the government promised to gazette some sub chiefs.

The Bashilubemba claim that sub Chieftainess Chanda We Yaya was allegedly tasked to falsely claim that she was instructed by sub chief Chimba to appoint a Mr Chipoya as a replacement for Mr Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Mwinelubemba.

Bashilubemba have explained that all this was happening while President Michael Sata was out of the country in Israel.

“Sub chief Chimba cannot make such a decision alone since such important decisions can only be made in the full council meeting,” reads the letter from the Bashilubemba.

The Bashilubemba have said that such a scheme of implicating sub-Chief Chimba who is the chairman of the BRE was deliberate and maliciously calculated to bring confusion, mistrust and division among the BRE.

The BRE has claimed that the confusion was a Government option since it has totally and absolutely failed to change their choice of Mwinelubemba Chitimukulu Kanyanta-Manga II.

“Honourable Minister, we believe that since you have managed to devastate your own Bisa chieftaincy from matrilineal to patrilineal status and in the same way, you are by all means trying to change the Bemba chiefs’ appointing authority from Bashilubemba to Queen Mothers whom you think you can easily manipulate as the case at hand wherein, you have promised to gazette them,” reads the letter in part.

They further stated that in the Bemba customary law of succession, it was generally agreed by the parties that a chief below Chitimukulu, either Senior Chief Mwamba, Senior Chief Nkula or indeed any other, was chosen or appointed by the Paramount Chief-in-council.

They wondered where the minister got the information that the Bemba Queen mothers had a role in appointing the Mwinelubemba when the Supreme Court had not found any role of the queen mothers in appointing chiefs.

“Besides, what the evidence failed to establish is the role of Chandamukulu, the Queen Mother (including Mukukamfumu, the Queen for Chinsali), in the selection process of Chitimukulu and the chiefs below Chitimukulu,’’ the letter states.

The BRE accused Prof Luo and her group which allegedly included Bwalya Kosa, Sub-Chief Kalulu and others of coming up with the scheme of inciting sub-Chieftainess Chanda We Yaya with an unworkable plan.

The 12 BRE member council alleged that Bwalya Kosa went to see Chieftainess Mukukamfumu with the proposal that she travelled to Mpika on 30th June 2014, in order to meet government officials who would arrange her recognition.

“And this meant she could have met with sub-chieftainess Chanda We Yaya and the so-called sub-chieftainess Ngoshe Mukote and together they could have signed a secret document that could have appointed Chipoya as Chitimukulu,” the letter reads further.

They said the plan flopped because Chieftainess Mukukamfumu informed Bwalya Kosa that she would not attend the meeting.