Patriotic Front ministers and senior party officials coming from the Northern Province are scheduled to hold a caucus meeting at which they want to discuss among other pertinent issues the impasse between President Sata and the Bashilubemba, that has led to the resignation of former Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba from government.
PF senior officials told the Daily Nation that Ministers and senior Party officials were concerned about the stand-off between President Sata as an individual and the newly enthroned Paramount Chief Chitimukulu Henry Kanyanta Sosala.
The officials said that they were concerned over the manner government and in particular President Sata was conducting himself over the installation of Henry Sosala as the Chitimukulu and that they were particularly unhappy that the Head of State had refused to respect their tradition by rejecting the new Chitimukulu.
On Monday last week, Mwamba popularly known as GBM resigned from government on grounds that President Sata had challenged him to chose between his family and his ministerial job.
“This meeting is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the stand-off between the PF government and Paramount Chief Chitimukulu Henry Kanyanta Sosala. We want to find out what is the major problem with President Sata accepting what the Bembas want. The stand-off is not healthy for the smooth running of government and we feel that it is our responsibility to ensure that sanity is restored in order for peace to prevail on the matter,” said one of the PF serving ministers.
They said that it was unfortunate that President Sata and his closest allies were unable to see the damage caused because of the stand-off between government and the traditional leadership in the area.
They said that as a result of the stand-off, the PF government was de-campaigning itself in the region, saying it was one of the reasons why Members of Parliament coming from the area were finding it difficult to speak out on the matter.
“This issue is life and death and if Mr. Sata wants to underplay it, he will regret because the PF will be a one term government. The way he is handling the matter it will backfire and slap him in his face. The hatred he has against Paramount Chief Chitimukulu will cost the PF the presidency of the country if this matter is not resolved as soon as possible.
The officials said they had been following the escalating differences between the Chitimukulu and President Sata and were wondering why the Head of State had decided to take an acrimonious route in dealing with the new Chitimukulu.
“President Sata has never told anyone apart from giving instructions that he did not want Henry Sosala to be Paramount Chief of the Bemba speaking people. We leave to speculation whether it is true that he wants a Bisa paramount chief, which is impossible according to the Bemba traditions and Culture,” said the official,” the officials said.
The officials also said that it was sad that before President Sata could understand the issues surrounding the installation of Chitimukulu as paramount Chief, he had already made up his mind on whom he wanted to be on the throne.
“Honestly speaking there has not been dialogue with the leadership over the issue of Chitimukulu and that will cost the party a great deal in 2016. We should not think that the Bembas will accept us if we go there to ask for their vote in 2016,” said the official.
More deputy and cabinet ministers coming from Northern Province are planning to resign from government because of the way President Sata was handling the issue the Chitimukulu, saying they would rather be with their traditional leader than a political interim appointment.