Opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has cautioned President Michael Sata against insulting paramount Chief Chitimukulu and leave the Bemba speaking people alone to enjoy the fruits of belonging to Zambia.
Mr. Hichilema has also demanded that Minister of Chiefs and Tradition Affairs Nkandu Luo withdraws threats to arrest paramount Chief Chitimukulu because it was a curse and abomination on the country’s traditional leadership.
In an interview yesterday, Mr. Hichilema said President Sata should leave Paramount Chief Chitimukulu alone if he did not want to recognise him because the UPND recognises him as paramount chief of the Bemba speaking people of Northern Province.
Mr. Hichilema said that any attempt to continue harassing and disparaging paramount Chief Chitimukulu would be received with resistance not only by Bembas but also by all well-meaning Zambians who believed in the traditional set up and governance.
“Aya manyozo from the PF government about my paramount chief Chitimukulu are bent to embarrass the traditional leader. But I have to warn them that the continued insults the PF is pouring on Paramount Chief Chitimukulu is a war against the traditional leadership,” said Mr. Hichilema.
He said the UPND would defend the rights of paramount Chief Chitimukulu and any other traditional leader from being abused by the PF.
Mr. Hichilema said that President Sata should not force his choice on the Bemba speaking people, adding that it was high time the Head of State appreciated the fact that traditional values had strong ties to the governance and unity of the nation.
“I wonder why President Sata is failing to see the revote in the manner his government is handling the issue of paramount Chitimukulu. I wonder why he can’t see how protected paramount chief Chitimukulu is by his people and those that believe in his leadership,” said Mr. Hichilema.
He expressed sadness that some Ministers who hail from Chitimukulu region had sold their souls over the love for money and have now turned against paramount chief Chitimukulu.
“They are now calling him fake Chitimukulu, they are now saying that he is masquerading and they want him arrested,” said Mr. Hichilema.
And the UPND president said the PF government’s continued overstepping into traditional leadership of the country must stop forthwith.
Mr. Hichilema cited the case in point where President Sata’s administration had continued bullying and tormenting the Bemba speaking people who have willingly chosen their own Paramount Chief Chitimukulu using their traditional council.
“As UPND, we are fully aware that there are no disputes regarding the choice of Henry Kanyanta Sosala as the new Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba speaking people and government must never interfere in the people’s choice.We in UPND want to recognize Mr. Sosala as the duly chosen Paramount Chief Chitimukulu and must be allowed to settle and serve his people and the people of Zambia,” said Mr. Hichilema.
He said the UPND would respect the choices and processes of various traditional councils as the law clearly states, unless there was an impasse within the family, which could also be resolved through courts of law.