CHIEFS and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo has maintained that paramount chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba speaking people in Northern province has not yet been installed.
Professor Luo told Parliament on Tuesday evening that there were procedures to be followed in the process of selecting a chief and as far as Government was concerned, that process was still going on in the selection of Chitimukulu.
She said there had been a lot of politicking on the issue of selecting the Chitimukulu adding that there were many other Chiefs that had not yet been selected but people were not concentrating on them.
Professor Luo’s response followed a question for oral answer by MMD Solwezi West MP Humphrey Mwanza who wanted to find out what the progress on the recoginition of the new Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people was.
She explained that there had never been a dispute between the Zambian Government and the Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) over the appointment of the Chief.
Earlier, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Susan Kawandami also maintained that the BRE held a meeting on August 2, 2013 to elect a paramount chief but they wrote to the Government that they had not elected the Chief Chitimukulu.
Ms Kawandami said they, however, assured Government that they would provide information on the new Chief Chitimukulu as soon as they had successfully selected one.
Speaker of the national assembly Patrick Matibini had to curtail MMD Mwandi MP Michael Kaingu’s debate several times and asked him to sit down because of concern that the debate, which was beginning to tread on tribal lines, could degenerate.
Dr Kaingu had referred to the Bemba-speaking people as a small group with a huge cultural following.
But Dr Matibini cautioned Dr Kaingu and the members to exercise caution and political maturity in the debate of that motion.
The MPs also compelled Professor Luo to answer questions with regards the selection of the Chief Chitimukulu despite her telling the House that she would not say anything on the subject as it had become too political.
Kalomo UPND MP Request Muntanga and his Chadiza MMD counterpart Allan Mbewe demanded that Professor Luo gives Government’s position on the selection of Chief Chitimukulu matter.
Meanwhile Parliament has heard that the optic fibre has been laid down throughout the country in readiness for digital migration scheduled for June 2015.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Joseph Katema told the House that the bulk of the optic fibre had been laid and phase one of the work had been carried out and part payment made to the contractor.
Dr Katema was responding to a query by Pemba UPND MP Mutinta Mazoka who wanted to know whether the Government had started importing Set Top Boxes (STBs) in readiness for digital migration set for 2015.
Dr Katema said all the digital transmitters to swap from digital to analogue had been bought already.
Times of Zambia