TONGA chiefs have totally rejected the re-alignment of three districts in the Southern Province and have also refused having disowned UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.
In an Interview on behalf of other fifteen traditional leaders who on Monday met republican President Michael Sata, Chiefs Mukuni expressed surprise and shock at the extent of the land which has been re-aligned going as far as Sinazongwe’s Kapa stream with Zambezi river proceeding to the boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Chief Mukuni who was flanked by Chiefs Nalubamba and Chikanta said that government did not consult stakeholders before the decision of realignment could be reached at.
He said that the traditional leaders told President Sata that people in the Southern Province and its entire local leadership were against the idea of realigning Chirundu, Siavonga and Itezhi Tezhi District from Southern Province to Lusaka and Central provinces respectively.
Chief Mukuni said that as per gazette notes of 22 of 2012 of April, 13, 2012 there was lack of consultation and dialogue in the manner the matter of realignment was done by government.
He said that traditional leaders also noted that the culture of insults among political leaders was worrying and source of concern which was dividing the people of Zambia, adding that they were ready to mediate between President Sata and other opposition leaders to restore sanity and older in the political governance of the nation.
“There is lack of consultation and dialogue on national issues between political party leaders and traditional leadership which is a recipe of disunity in the country,” he said.
And Chief Mukuni said the traditional leadership from Southern Province did not disown UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema during the meeting held with President Sata.
“How do we disown our child? Even President Sata himself is our child, so people talking about us advising President Sata to ignore Mr. Hichilema are trying to antagonize the people of Zambia.
In fact it was President Sata himself who said he has always tried to ignore the criticisms coming from Hichilema and that did not come from anyone of us,” said Chief Mukuni.
Chief Mukuni who is the chairman of the Southern Province Royal Foundation said the traditional leadership urged President Sata to clear the perception that people from a particular region were being appointed to serve in government at the expense of other well learned and experienced groups.
“We told the President that there is a great need to remove the perception that people from one tribe are being promoted or appointed in to political or civil service position. There is need to broaden the consultations process by appointing authorities before taking action to remove appointees,” Chief Mukuni said.
The Chiefs who rejected the group called Tongas on Oath urged government to thoroughly investigate the issue, “As we strongly feel it is politically motivated to divide the Tonga’s and Bemba. Tongas will continue interacting and living with people of other tribes and nationalities as we have done in all the past years. It is One Zambia, One Nation.”