The Bemba Royal Establishment will not accept anymore intimidation and attempts to discredit and insult Paramount Chief Chitimukulu by the Patriotic Front government, Lubasenshi member of parliament Patrick Mucheleka has said.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, Mucheleka who is a member of the Bemba Royal Family said that attempts by the President Sata government to discredit and fight the traditional leadership was merely a continuation of hostilities.
Mucheleka said that it was shocking and annoying that the PF government and its leaders had continued to fight the Bemba tradition set up by insinuating that Henry Sosala was not the Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.
“These attempts by the PF government through the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Professor Nkandu Luo are made to intimidate us, but I have to warn them that this is not the first time these intimidations have started. They were there under the colonial rule, they tried to intimidate the Bembas but they did not succeed.
Even the former President Kenneth Kaunda did the same, President Chiluba did the same where the current President Michael Sata and Nkandu Luo were ministers, worked very hard with the late Daniel Kapapa to fight the late Chitimukulu, they hated our Chitimukulu with a passion because they considered him to be too UNIP and now that they have taken power they still have unfinished business where they have started the war again,” said Mucheleka.
He noted that the only time the Bemba Kingdom had peace was under the late President Levy Mwanawasa and his predecessors Rupiah Banda, saying that, “The time we had a breathing space it was under late Patrick Levy Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda, we have suffered at the hands of Nkandu Luo and President Sata because they were part of the people by then that victimised our traditional leader until he died in 2002.”
He said that such attempts were made merely to weaken the Bemba-speaking people but would not succeed because there had never been a rebellion among chiefs in Northern Province and the entire Bemba land adding that the traditional leadership was strong in the region.
Mucheleka said that it was sad that the PF government had decided to go against their own traditional Act by recognising Chimbuka and Chewe as chiefs when they were not.
He warned that the PF should be reminded that when they leave government in the next few years, even the chiefs they have appointed would go with them because they were not part of the Bemba traditional set up.
Mucheleka said that the continued attacks on Paramount Chief Chitimukulu were uncalled for and warned President Sata and Prof Luo not to use their power to fight the traditional leadership.
“When I speak I speak with a lot of authority over this matter because my kingdom has come under siege from people in power. We are disappointed that Nkandu Luo has continued verbal attacks on the Bemba Royal establishment on the Chitimukulu succession process. This fight by people in power is unsustainable; it won’t help them at all. There are many governments that have tried to fight the Bembas but failed,” said Mucheleka.
He said that the Bemba traditional system was a well-organised establishment and there was need for those in leadership to understand its leadership.