Elders representing the Bemba Traditional Council (BTC) have refused to travel to Lusaka to meet president Michael Sata over the Chitimukulu standoff.
And the Bemba elders the deployment of police officers and subsequent surrounding of the palace is an act of intimidation.
But Sata in his usual lack of diplomacy and confrontational manner says the Bemba Traditional Council (BTC) is becoming a threat to the nation.
President Michael Sata is opposing the installation of Henry Sosala as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu. He wants a fellow Bisa to sit of the throne of Bembas.
But the BTC have vowed to protect their chiefdom from being stolen by Sata and his relatives who are believed to have originated from Tanzania.
Sata’s agent Everest chella, who is also Patriotic Front Northern province secretary told journalists on Sunday that:
“The members of the BTC where expected today at State House at 10:00 hours but at a meeting held in Malole on Friday, they resolved not to travel to Lusaka without giving satisfactory reasons.”
Sata warned Bashilubemba that if they not comply, they should not blame Government for the next action it would take.
Sata insisted Mr Sosala would not be considered as Chitimukulu.
But the BTC clarified that the Chitimukulu has already been installed at a secret location and the next step would just be to present him to the public in form of a coronation.
BTC spokesperson, Washanga Mpika said the BTC considered the deployment of police officers at the palace as an act of aggression.
“We wrote a letter requesting for the police to be withdrawn as it is an act of intimidation before talks of any kind are held,” Mr Mpika said. “If anything the police presence is now more heavy as it has now extended to other areas other than the palace.”
Asked for comment on the reason behind the ultimatum and whether the council would comply, Mr Mpika said the BTC had sat to discuss the request for them to travel to Lusaka.
The meeting then resolved the BTC would not travel as it felt it had done nothing wrong to warrant the deployment of police in its area.
Mr Mpika said BTC would meet to discuss the latest communication from the Government and later release a statement on its position.