Paramount chief Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II of the Bemba people has challenged government to arrest him if they are aggrieved that he has been installed as Mwinelubemba.
The Mwinelubemba, Henry Chanda Sosala told the Daily Nation from Kasama yesterday that he would be in the town to wait for police officers to arrest him.
Chief Chitimukulu was responding to an order by Chiefs and Traditional Affairs minister Nkandu Luo that he and the other chiefs that were masquerading as duly elected chiefs should be arrested.
“Ok I am around, I am not at Kanyanta village, I am in Kasama and it will be easy for them to arrest me. I don’t remember imposing myself as Mwinelubemba but the Bashilubemba are the ones that elevated me to this position,” said the Paramount chief.
He said the Supreme Court ruled has already ruled that the appointing authority for the Paramount chief of the Bemba people was the Bashilubemba and not anyone else.
Earlier at a press briefing in Lusaka, Professor Luo said the law enforcement agents should arrest all chiefs that were not recognised by government including Henry Kanyanta Sosala.
“Anybody who is walking around and calling himself a chief in a chiefdom where they have not been recognised are committing an offence and must be arrested,” Prof Luo said.
She said Mr Sosala did not follow procedure together with several other individuals who were claiming to be chiefs in Zambia.
“As far as this office is concerned, we do not recognise anybody who has not been gazetted by President Sata,” Prof Luo said.
The minister further said the Mwamba chiefdom did not have a chief because procedure was not followed when choosing Mr Sosala and that it was not only Mr Sosala who was masquerading but many others.
“The Musokotwane chiefdom of Southern province has not had a chief because they also did not fellow procedure, we are not selective when applying the law,” she said.
Prof Luo cited Mr Kapotwe’s case who went to Chienge district in chief Puta’s area and decided that he becomes Chief Puta when in fact the holder of the throne had been governing the area for quite some time.
“In this country, there is only one person who recognises chiefs and that is the president of the republican of Zambia,” she said.
Prof Luo told journalist that whoever was claiming to be chief should produce their recognition from the president.
“There is supposed to be a meeting which is called to select a chief guided by the Chiefs Act. The members who attend the selection meeting, other government institutions, chief affairs officers, and other people are recorded according to traditions that select the chief,” Prof Luo said.She said people who attend were recorded together with the the minutes of the meeting.
“After the meeting, the provincial local government officer submits the minutes and the record of discussion to the provincial minister who scrutinises and forwards them to my ministry. And when they get here our director of chief’s affairs also scrutinises and compiles the minutes with a covering letter and then recommends to the president’s office,” Prof Luo said.