Chiefs in the southern Province have distanced themselves from accusations of planning to secede from the rest of the country.
The more than 14 Chiefs who today held a closed door meeting with southern province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu to discuss ways on how chiefs and government can clear this misunderstanding have totally refused to be associated with secession claims from some quarters.
Speaking in an interview after the meeting, Chief Hamusonde of the Tonga speaking people of Monze district who spoke on behalf of the chiefs in Southern Province said he and other chiefs in the Province have no plans to secede from the rest of the country.
He said the chiefs feel insulted to be accused of having made statements of secession plans something which they strongly denounce.
“We have called for this meeting because we want to know why we have been insulted day in and day out on the matter of secession and tribalism to which we are not party”, he said.
Chief Hamusonde said the Tonga speaking People of southern province are peace loving Zambians who embrace people across sections of society and tribe.
He said the statements running in the media on secessions are basic lies which no chief in Southern province is responsible of.
The chiefs have through the provincial Minister presented their grievances on the matter and requested that a meeting with President Lungu be scheduled to bring an end to this disturbing issue.
Meanwhile Southern Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu said the meeting with the royal highnesses has resolved not to make the contents of the meeting known to the media to avoid misrepresentation.
Mr Mubukwanu said the chiefs have however rejected any tribal sentiments attributed to them emphasizing that their wish is for the country to uphold and maintain the one Zambia one nation slogan.
“We have held a meeting with chiefs from the province at their request were various concerns have been highlighted that needs to be brought to the attention of the President”, he said.
Mr Mubukwanu however assured the chiefs that he will present the resolutions of the meeting to President Lungu as soon as possible.
The chiefs who attended the meeting include, Chief Hamusonde, Chief Sipatunyana, Chieftainess Mweenda, Chieftainess Choongo, Chief Simamba, Chief Monze, Chief Chikanta, Chief Singani, Chief Nalubamba, Chief Nyawa, Chief Mungaila, Chief Muchila, Chief Mukobela and chief Sinazongwe.