THE Bemba Royal Establishment has asked all its chiefs to reject brown envelopes from political leaders as this will divide them.
Chief Chikwanda of the Bemba-speaking people in Northern Province said this when he addressed the Ilamfya Bemba Council.
He said Bemba traditional leaders should not accept brown envelopes from political party leaders ahead of August 11 general elections as that would divide royal establishments.
Last weekend, the Bemba Royal Establish distanced itself from Chief Munkonge’s visit to UPND vice president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba who was in police custody. Chief Munkonge claimed at the time that he had been sent by the Chitimukulu.
Mr Mwamba popularly known as GBM was arrested for threatening violence against the Head of State by saying that he would go for his throat.
Chief Chikwanda appealed to all Bemba chiefs to reject brown envelopes that may be offered to them by politicians ahead of the August 11 general elections.
He said the Bemba Royal Establishment could only be respected if chiefs refused to be bribed by political leaders.
He said that if it meant eating kalembula (sweet potato leaves) for the sake of uniting the Bemba Royal Establishment then every chief should do so.
“No one will die from eating kalembula by rejecting brown envelopes but the Bemba Royal Establishment can be compromised if chiefs will accept brown envelopes from these political party leaders,” he said.
Paramount Chief Chitimukulu clarified on Chief Chikwanda’s point that rejecting brown envelopes did not mean that when political party leaders visited traditional leaders, they should also be rejected. The Chitimukulu told the chiefs that they should not chase away political party leaders whenever they visited them.
Mwinelubemba said political party leaders should be told the challenges which their subjects were facing without accepting brown envelopes so that they also knew the problems being faced by the people.
Meanwhile, Mwinelubemba revealed that he would undertake a trip abroad to woo investors to the Bembaland.
He said Kasama and Luwingu district had remained underdeveloped because there were no investors who could put up factories and employ the locals.
“I will be making a lot of trips to look for investors because we need money and development in our chiefdoms; so start identifying projects which we can do in Kasama,” the Chitimukulu told the chiefs.
He said poverty levels were high in Northern Province compared to other provinces.