Henry Kanyanta Sosala should stop undermining President Michael Sata’s authority and should consider halting the quarrels that have erupted between the two for the sake of stability in the Bemba chiefdom, Chief Chimbuka of Chinsali in Northern Province has advised.
Chief Chimbuka said there was no traditional leader who was more powerful than the republican presidency and that it was important for Paramount Chief Chitimukulu to reaslise that for as long as the impasse would continue, he would remain a chief without ever being given the symbol and instrument of authority as a traditional leader.
Chief Chimbuka has advised that Paramount Chief Chitimukulu should avoid politicizing the differences he had with President Sata because some opposition political parties would take advantage and cause permanent perceived rifts between the Head of State and the Bemba supreme ruler.
Chief Chimbuka said he had great respect for the Chitimukulu but he was not happy that the Bashilubemba had publicly taken a confrontational stance against President Sata’s decision degazette him (Sosala).
He said although traditional leaders were not supposed to be chosen by the political leadership such as the Republican President, it was the government that allowed the succession process and the crowning of chiefs to their throne.
He said it was impossible under the current constitution to completely exclude the presidency from playing a role in the installation of an individual to be chief and that President Sata was right in his decision not to recognize Henry Kanyanta Sosala as the Chitimukulu because there were certain traditional ethics that were breached in the installation of the Bemba chief.
Chief Chimbuka said Bembas were a people with great respect for leadership at any level and that it was surprising that the Bashilubemba had refused to accept the decision of President Sata to normalize Chitimukulu hierarchy that had been a source of controversy for a long time.
He said while it was the responsibility of President Sata not to interfere in the traditional matters, the Head of State had a duty to ensure that traditional values in the succession of traditional leaders were protected and followed.
Chief Chimbaka accused the Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of having auctioned his royalty oath to the opposition political parties whom he said were the source of the differences between President Sata and the Bashilubemba.
“I am appealing to Paramount Chief Chitimukulu to cease fire with President Sata because it does not auger well that the Bemba traditional leadership should be in perpetual conflict. These perceived differences could have adverse effect on the governance of the Bemba Chiefdom and its development. As Paramount Chief Chitimukulu, he must know that there is no traditional leader in our current laws that would be more powerful than the republican presidency. It is President Sata who is expected to give the Chitimukulu the instrument soon after taking his royal oath. So my prayer is that Henry Kanyanta Sosala should reflect on his current relationship with President Sata and avoid public outbursts against the Head of State,’ Chief Chimbuka said.
He explained that Paramount Chief Chitimukulu was not above government and that it was important that developmental policies and programmes were not affected because of the poor relationship between the Head of State the traditional leadership.
Chief Chimbuka said President Sata knew the Chitimukulu hierarchy because the Head of State was inertly related to the Bemba Royal Establishment through Chief Chikwanda. The traditional leader said there were certain traditional issues that he knew about the wrangles between President Sata and the Chitimukulu but that he was not ready to divulge them because he was hopeful that an amicable solution would soon be found.
“Chief Chikwanda is banalume Makumba and President Sata is Shimakumba. So the President could be on firm ground in refusing to recognize Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Pramount Chief Chitimukulu,” Chief Chimbuka said.