The Bemba royal establishment in Chinsali district has not welcomed government’s decision to elevate Chief Chikwanda of Mpika district to the Senior Chief Nkula throne.
The establishment says it does not welcome the move to elevate the traditional as opposed to the incumbent who has the full support of the traditional authorities.
Senior Chief Nkula who was recently installed by the Shilubemba royal establishment awaiting government recognition says he will oppose every move by government to dethrone him unless with the blessings of the traditional authorities headed by paramount chief Chitimukulu.
Speaking when Acting District Commissioner, Kaweme Mumbi accompanied by council secretary, Kabombo Mutakela and security officials visited the Senior Chief, the visibly annoyed traditional leader accused government of meddling in the traditional affairs saying this will destabilize the chiefdom as people have risen against the decision.
He said the Bemba traditional royal establishment decided to enthrone Kafula Musungu (II) as senior chief Nkula following traditional consultation meetings at which government officials and chief Chikwanda attended.
“ It was agreed that the incumbent ( Chief Chikwanda ) takes over and government was advised accordingly on the matter, “ he said.
The embattled Senior Chief explained that there are a lot of procedures that are performed when installing Chiefs and merely removing the incumbent who is the custodian of the traditional shrines will spell death for both the in-coming and outgoing.
And Chairman of the Ichinga traditional council, Bwembya Tabwe warned of grave consequences and wondered how the republican president whom he said is well versed with the Bemba customs could make such a dangerous move.
“President Sata is very much aware of the decision we made as the shilubemba royal establishment on this matter. Paramount Chief Chitimukulu and his team of advisors made the wisest decision on the matter but now government wants to bring confusion because the incumbent has been on the throne for three months now”.
“Government should not destroy customs of succession and time has come that they leave such procedures to traditional authorities. We will not keep quiet but will engage government on the matter,” said Tabwe
He said the traditional royal establishment will continue to recognize the incumbent while dialogue continues saying a team of five Chiefs from the Bemba land will soon meet the president on the matter.
Addressing over 200 subjects at the palace, the Ichinga traditional council chairman announced that a decision has been made to suspend the current senior chief Nkula from performing all traditional duties that go with the chieftaincy until the matter is resolved.
Both Senior Chief Nkula and his Ichinga traditional council chairman strongly appealed to the subjects for calm and peace saying to every problem there is a solution in the offing adding that anybody who will rise against such a decision will be visited by the law.
Speaking at the same meeting, Acting District Commissioner, Kaweme Mumbi assured the subjects that there is no need to breach peace in the area adding that since the matter has come from the highest office in the land, people should be calm and wait for the resolution of the planned meeting of chiefs and the head of state.
Last week, President Micheal Sata announced the recognition by gazette of Chief Chikwanda of Mpika district as the new Senior Chief Nkula in Muchinga Province.