Fear has gripped the Bemba Traditional Council after reports that the state schemed to unleash about 500 police and paramilitary officers to Malole to destabilize the public unveiling ceremony of Paramount Chief Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II.
And security sources confirmed to the Daily Nation that there was a plot to arrest Henry Kanyanta Solala during the same ceremony because he was “masquerading” as Chitimukulu Kanyata Manga II.
The tension has forced the Bemba Traditional Council to postpone the public ceremony to a later date which should have seen Henry Sosala introduced to the public as the New Chitimukulu Manga II.
Sources from the Bemba Traditional Council told the Newspaper in Kasama yesterday that for the past few days; officers from the Office of the President and Zambia Police in plain clothes have been seen loitering near Chitimukulu’s palace for unknown reasons.
The sources said the security concerns have forced the Bashilubemba to defer the ceremony to a later date but maintained that nothing had changed in the establishment of the chiefdom as former senior chief Mwamba Henry Sosala was the installed and recognized Paramount chief Chitimukulu for the Bemba speaking people.
They revealed that the Bemba chiefs have been disturbed by this and felt that it was better to save people’s lives rather than risk bloodshed and further wondered why President Michael Sata had so much interest in issues surrounding the chieftaincy.
“We have been cautioned so we did not want anything bad to happen to any of the people that were to attend the ceremony. Since the people who don’t recognize our Chitimukulu are determined to make even innocent people pay for things they don’t know.
“As the Bemba Traditional Council we thought it was wise not to risk the security for our people and the guest of honour who is the Catholic Archbishop. We are saddened by this development but we shall see how far they shall go. We have our Chitimukulu and all the traditional requirements have been done and the Bashilubemba collectively installed and blessed him as the Paramount Chief. He has the instruments of power and we shall not rescind our decision,” he said.
They expressed concern that the presence of police in the district was making the people of the district uncomfortable as the officers were asking people questions whose objective was not known.