PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has recognised Mr. Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba speaking people.
The President yesterday signed the Recognition Order under section 3 of the Chiefs Act, Chapter 287 of the Laws of Zambia.
The statutory instrument recognising Paramount Chief Chitimukulu will be published in the Government Gazette.
This is according to press statement issued yesterday by President Lungu’s special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda.
Mr Chanda said upon assumption of office, President Lungu directed the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to examine the impasse surrounding the matter.
“This morning the permanent secretary Mr. Coillard Chibbonta reported that he was satisfied that the selection was done in accordance with the Bemba traditions and customs and recommended that Mr Henry Kanyanta Sosala be recognised,” he said.
Mr Chanda said President Lungu has since telephoned the Mwine Lubemba to inform him of his decision.
During his campaign tour of Northern Province last month, President Lungu assured the Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) that he would promptly recognise the Mwine Lubemba once elected into office.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has appealed to all traditional rulers to take practical steps to heal the nation of the scourge of tribalism, which has been brought to the fore by the just ended presidential election.
President Lungu was speaking during a lunch he hosted at State House for 25 chiefs from North-Western, Luapula and Eastern provinces.
Out of that number, 15 of them were from North-Western, five from Luapula and four from Eastern Province.
Mr Lungu said he was troubled by the extent of tribalism and regionalism that has been brought to the fore by the recent elections and wanted chiefs to move in and heal the divisions.
“National cohesion is under threat from this problem. I am getting reports that compel me to lead collective action to deal with tribalism. This is a matter we cannot ignore.
“Do not divide us. These tribal inclinations are worrying me. It is so bad that even the unifying Zambezi River is a dividing factor between the Lundas and Luvales in North-Western Province.
This polarisation in Zambian society must end and I therefore challenge Your Royal Highnesses to brainstorm about this and offer us the much needed help,” he said.
The President said he would meet with all chiefs countrywide to help heal the nation, adding that State House was working on a programme to meet chiefs from all provinces.
“My Government will work with you regardless of whether your people voted for me or not. That is a democratic choice.”
And speaking on behalf of the other, Chief Mumena of Solwezi said the President’s appeal to the chiefs was the beginning of the healing process. He said it was evident that Zambian society has suffered serious fragmentation needing pragmatic steps to heal.