The Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) has vowed that it will resist and spur any maneuvers by President Michael Sata to illegally install chief Chewe of Chinsali District in Muchinga Province as Chitimukulu.
The establishment has said it was absurd for the state to begin scheming to impose Chief Chewe as Chitimukulu on the people of Northern and Muchinga Provinces when the man was ineligible to ascend to the throne of Chitimukulu.
The BRE through Patrick Mucheleka, a member of the establishment said the traditional leaders from the Bashilubemba were gravely concerned with the continued interference by President Sata in the traditional affairs of Northern and Muchinga Provinces.
Mr Mucheleka said the traditional leadership in the two Provinces would not succumb to the intimidation and harassment from the state over the succession process in the installation of the Chitimukulu.
Mr Mucheleka said the Bemba people were not happy with the interference by President Sata and that they were ready to put up a vigorous fight against the schemes by the state to impose Chief Chewe as the Chitimukulu.
He said at a media briefing the Bemba people have been victims of successive government beginning with the Kenneth Kaunda regime through the Frederick Chiluba government up to the Mwanawasa administration.
He said the recent action by President Sata to unceremoniously degazzete Senior Chief Mwamba was unacceptable and was done with total disregard of the traditional rules and values of the Bemba people.
President Sata recently degazzeted Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Senior Chief Mwamba describing him as a man who was masquerading as senior Chief Mwamba and that he was not properly installed.
There has been a bitter rift between the Bashilubemba and President Sata since the Head of State degazzeted the senior chief with the traditional leaders openly rejecting Mr Sata’s directive that they travel to Lusaka and meet him over the matter.
“You need to be aware that both the colonial and post-independence governments have always had the appetite and desire to weaken the Bemba people by openly interfering in the appointment or removal of our chiefs. Be informed that the Bemba people and their chiefs have remained resolute and have resisted such attempts. It is not appropriate for anyone to scheme and contemplate to install Chief Chewe as Chitimukulu,” Mr Mucheleka said.
Mr Mucheleka said President Sata and his Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Nkandu Luo were senior cabinet ministers in the Chiluba government which he said vigorously attempted to neutralize and undermine the Bemba chiefs.
Mr Mucheleka said it was not surprising that the schemes to undermine the Bemba chiefs had resurfaced in the Sata regime because the PF government was trying to build its political supremacy by trying to appoint traditional leaders that would be aligned to the ruling party.