THE Bashilubemba say they will put the official installation of Sosala as Chitimukulu on hold until they have ironed out misunderstandings with government.
Royal council spokesperson James Mulenga addressed as Washanga Impika Sha-Lubemba, described the meeting they held with President Michael Sata and finance minister Alexander Chikwanda last Thursday as unfruitful.
According to Washanga Impika Sha-Lubemba, the meeting, which was attended by himself, chief Chiimba, Lukaka Milandu, Lupombwe Chiti and Kasonde Kasutu, was aimed at convincing President Sata to recognise Sosala as the new Chitimukulu.
He said the Bashilubemba's expectation was for them and the President to come to the negotiating table over the recognition of Sosala, whom their royal council had picked as the new Chitimukulu.
Ifwe twalyendele ku Lusaka, nomba twalisafilwa ukumfwana, kanshi twalibwelako. Ifwe nimfumu ifi fine. Yalisalwa mulu tambi. Umuntu nga mwa musala mulutambi, calyafya ukumufumya pacifulo, pantu kuti caleta infwa shaifwe nangu balyabene. Kanshi ifi teti ficitike nangu tabacitile recognise ba President; umbi kateka akesa cita recognise (We went to see the President in Lusaka to iron out this issue but we failed and returned home. As far as we are concerned, Sosala is the one we have chosen, following our traditions and customs, and once one is chosen in that manner, he cannot be removed from the throne because that could have deadly consequences. Therefore, that will not happen even if he is not recognised by the President; another president will in future recognise him)," he explained.
The spokesperson said as far as the council which appoints the Chitimukulu was concerned, Sosala had gone through all the traditional rights required of him.
"We were disappointed that the President openly told us that he would not recognise Sosala as the Chitimukulu but rather chief Chewe of Chinsali in Muchinga, whom the Bashilubemba had rejected," he said.
Washanga Impika Sha-Lubemba said Bashilubemba would stand by their early position that Sosala was the legitimate Chitimukulu.
"Elyo kwaba ukukangana kwa musango uyu, chatulanga ati government ya lyamba ukosonta infumu, namaka bayipela. Lelo takwaba ifyamusango uyo. Pantu ukufuma fye ku Kola, tatwali na kateka. Elyo ba Chitimukulu balefwa, uwaletusontela tebakateka. Pali bakateka bonse abapita, tapaba kateka uwa sontapo infumu (This standoff has shown us that the government has assumed the role of appointing chiefs for us but since time immemorial, this has never been the case. This practice has been there even before we started having presidents. None of the previous presidents has ever appointed a chief)," he said.
Washanga Impika Sha-Lubemba urged the people of Northern Province to defend the appointment of Sosala as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu the 38th of the Bemba-speaking people.
"Nacitupesha amano ukuti iyi infumu twa sonta, aba ba number 38 nabamukana. Twapela amaka kuli imwe mwe bekala chalo ukuti mutwafweko, pali ici icacitika, elo tubombele pamo (We are amazed by the position of government and we want you the people to help us, and let us work together)," he said.