PARAMOUNT Chief Chitimukulu says he cannot involve himself in partisan politics by commenting on the choice of a running mate of any political party in the country.
He said that those wanting to involve him in such matters were being mischievous as they wanted to use him to express their own feelings.
The chief was reacting to a statement attributed to him, stating that ‘umulembwe wacipuba upwila muli tumfwe’, which criticized the choice of running mates for some political parties.
The circular letter alleges that some alliances were made on tribal basis and would not therefore succeed as they had no principles and no fundamental issues to forge them.
Such alliances, the circular claimed, were purely for personal benefit to the exclusion of the greater good of the community.
“I think all these are just tricks by people who want me to be involved against politicians they don’t like,” the Chitimukulu said.
He was refuting having authored the statement which the Daily Nation quoted in yesterday’s lead story, headlined; “UMULEMBWE WACIPUBA”.
“I have never uttered anything against or for any running mate,” Paramount Chief Chitimukulu said.
He described the insinuations in the article attributed to him as “freedom of stupidity”.
“I don’t know why I am being implicated in sensitive political issues because there is no way that I, as Paramount Chief of the Bemba, can involve myself in commenting on running mates,” the Chitimukulu said.
And UPND said it was not possible for Paramount Chief Chitimukulu to issue a statement condemning some presidential running mates nominated by some political parties.
UPND presidential spokesperson Edward Mumbi said he personally knew Paramount Chief Chitimukulu and that the traditional leader was an astute leader whose public statements were well thought out.
“Personally being a Bemba from the royal family although a politician, I don’t believe the Chitimukulu issued that statement. I therefore with to advise Government to avoid commenting on the matter until we hear from the Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.,” Mr Mumbi said.
Zambia goes to the polls on August 11 and in the presidential race are PF’s Edgar Lungu with his running mate Mrs Inonge Wina; UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema and running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.
Others are Tilyenji Chanda Kaunda of UNIP with running mate Njekwa Anamela , FDD’s Edith Nawakwi and running mate Clement Mwanza, Saviour Chishimba of UPP with running mate Sinanzeni Chuma, Rainbow Party’s Wynter Kabimba with
Cosmas Musumali as running mate.
Green Party president Peter Sinkamba is also in the race with Clement Tafeni as running mate. PAC president Andyford Banda and his running mate Enoch Tonga will also be on the ballot which would include DA president Maxwell Mwamba and Rosemary Kabungo as running mate.