President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has with immediate effect recognised Mr. Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Paramount Chief
Chitimukulu of the Bemba people.
The statutory instrument recognising Paramount Chief Chitimukulu will be published in the Government Gazette this week. The President signed the Recognition Order under Section Three of the Chiefs Act, Chapter 287 of the Laws of Zambia.
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 recommended that Mr Henry Kanyanta Sosala be recognised.
The President has since telephoned the Mwine Lubemba to inform of this 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. Fifteen chiefs were from North-Western Province, five from Luapula and four from Eastern Province.
The President said he is troubled by the extent of tribalism and regionalism that has been brought to the fore by the recent elections and wants chiefs to move fast to 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,” the President said.
“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.”
The President said he will meet with all chiefs countrywide to help heal the nation. State House is 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.”
In a vote of thanks, Chief Mumena said the President’s appeal to the chiefs is the beginning of the healing process. He said it was evident that Zambian society has suffered serious fragmentation needing pragmatic steps to heal.
“We take this message from the President very seriously and we shall community to our subjects.”
Meanwhile President Lungu has called Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya urging him to soldier on with new ideas to develop the Zambian game.
The President told Mr Bwalya to communicate his message to the national soccer team that government appreciated their efforts and would support the team despite their early exit from the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
“We understand the desire for the team to win but things did not go our away. Please work on efforts to increase the number of youths in the team so that we build a sustainable team,” the President said.