The United Party for National Development (UPND) has said that the party president Hakainde Hichilema is on record to have opposed the actions taken by the late President Michael Sata to degazetted His Royal Highness Chief Mwamba (Henry Kanyanta Sosala) of the Bemba people. [ Lusakatimes 2014 article where HH showed his support for Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II click here]
In a statement released to the media, the party said that it sincerely hoped that His Royal Highness Paramount Chief Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II was being misquoted by individuals with ulterior motives and ill-will to national unity, harmony and belonging together, as one people under our national motto of One Zambia, One Nation, and one nation, one people.
Below is the full statement
As already noted in our media brief yesterday, on the reported sentiments by Mwine Lubemba, His Royal Highness Paramount Chief Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II, that President Hakainde Hichilema is plotting to dethrone him once elected in the office of President of the Republic of Zambia. President Hichilema has consistently maintained the posture of non interference of government in internal traditional affairs of all chiefdoms across Zambia. These facts are in the public domain and consequently anyone can freely access the information.
However, due to passage of time and people easily forgetting these plain facts, and due to the fact that PF, in its usually modus operandi of peddling lies and consequently weaving a narrative that will suit its desperation to recover its speedily dwindling political fortunes, as UPND, we are compelled, though reluctantly, to bring out the facts and let the people of Zambia judge President Hichilema and the United Party for National Development.
During the administration of the Late Sixth Republican President, H.E. Mr Michael Chilufya Sata (MHSRIP), President Hichilema took it upon himself as a national leader to initiated freely, without favour or ill-will a possible discussion with President Sata, on is that were concerning to many Zambians on the direction the new PF government was taking on traditional affairs in the country. They was a growing animosity and antagonism by the new government then towards the Royal Highnesses around the country. This unhealthy and potentially destabilizing stance of the PF government was causing consternation in the nation.
Sometime in 2013, President Sata had degazetted His Royal Highness Chief Mwamba (Henry Kanyanta Sosala) of the Bemba people. However, sometime in mid 2014, after Bashilubemba had chosen Chief Mwamba (Henry Kanyanta Sosala) to become Mwine Lubemba, Paramount Chief Chitimukulu, and before his installation to the Chitimukulu throne, President Sata stopped the chief’s ascension to the throne by deploying heavily armed police officers at the palace.
Prior to his installation as the Mwine Lubemba, the Chitimukulu on 25 January 2015, events been spiralling out of control and on a path towards a showdown and possible confrontation with Bashilubemba. President Sata had declared that Henry Kanyanta Sosala should not masquerade as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people, and told that much to the Daily Nation. “I have not recognized him. I degazetted Sosala as Chief Mwamba in 2013 and he cannot therefore be crowned as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.” President Sata charged when he called the Daily Nation on 13 May 2014. President Sata said it was wrong for the newspaper to continue referring to Sosala as Chitimukulu when he was not recognized by way of a gazette notice authorized by the President.
Earlier in 2014, President Hichilema, having followed closely the happenings in Bemba land, in Lozi land, Chewa land, and other chiefdoms that were falling foul with the PF administration, and taking cognizance of the law of the land governing traditional affairs, the Chiefs Act, President Hichilema wrote to the President then (letter is provided below, that was leaked to the media by the PF government then), to provide guidance and calling on government to immediately cease interfering in traditional affairs in the country. President Sata retorted to President Hichilema’s letter telling Mr. Hichilema to appoint Henry Kanyanta Sosala as his Chitimukulu if he so wishes.”
That is why even today, President Hichilema’s position has remained consistent. For example, his opposition to the proposed Bill 10 amendments of repealing Article 165 on the Institution of chieftaincy and traditional institutions, of the Constitution, substituting it with extremely dangerous clauses that will rob the Institution of chiefs in our land of the deserved independence and respect. Suffice to say, if Bill 10 was what was attaining at the time President Sata degazetted Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Chief Mwamba, we wouldn’t be discussing this today. He wouldn’t have ascended to the Chitimukulu throne. However, President Hichilema is delighted to put it on record, that though the installation was delayed for over one year, in the good providence of God, on 25 January 2015, His Royal Highness was officially installed as Mwine Lubemba, His Royal Highness Paramount Chief Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II, the 38th Chitimukulu, and had the distinguished honour and pleasure to be in attendance and witness the colourful coronation ceremony.
As UPND, we sincerely hope His Royal Highness Paramount Chief Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II is being misquoted by individuals with ulterior motives and ill-will to national unity, harmony and belonging together, as one people under our national motto of One Zambia, One Nation, and one nation, one people.