President Michael Sata has withdrawn over 400 police officers from Kasama and parts of Malole while 20 police officers were still stationed at paramount chief chitimukulu’ss palace in Malole.
And the Bemba Traditional Council has said that the decision by the President to withdraw some police officers from Kasama is not enough as some officers were still deployed at Chitimukulu’s palace.
Speaking on behalf of the bashilubemba, Patrick Mucheleka said the head of state should withdraw the armed police officers that have remained at the palace in Malole since the Bemba’s were not at war.
The President had initially deployed over 500 armed police and paramilitary officers in Kasama and at the Chitimukulu palace last month after intentions by the Bemba traditional council to publicly unveil their Paramount Chief Chitimukulu to the public on 16th November 2013.
The Daily Nation has learnt that the move to withdraw the armed officers was done secretly and in the night.Mucheleka said the decision by the President to interfere in their traditional issues was very humiliating and embarrassing.He said it was the first time ever that the Bemba people were subjected to such treatment by a sitting head of state and that there should not even be one police officer in the area.“It is unfortunate that things had to get this far. Even if there were misunderstandings between the bashilubemba and some past Presidents, it never got this far. Why should armed police officer be deployed to an area that is very peaceful? This is why we are saying that issues to do with traditions should be left to people that are competent.“As Bemba’s we have failed to comprehend this action because we are not at war and this action is threatening the lives of the people who are defenseless and it is good that we have told them not to react. Even if only 20 officers have remained we are not happy as there was no reason for them to have been deployed to the area. It is a shame that even police officers themselves do not know why they are in that area and the sad thing is that these officers are now interfering in other people’s marriages,” Mucheleka said.He pleaded with the state to withdraw all the police officers from the palace and that they should leave traditional issues to competent people.He urged all the Bemba’s to remain calm and that Zambians should learn something from what was happening in the Bemba chiefdom for them to make wise decisions in future.