Chief Sikoongo of Chirundu has been forced to meet President Michael Sata on Thursday over his uncompromising stand against ‘amputating’ Chirundu from Southern province.
Southern province minister Miles Sampa and PF cadre Brave Mweetwa have been on the chief’s neck the past two days trying to force him to betray his people and other chiefs.
Brave Mweetwa is also the District Commissioner for Siavonga. On Sunday, he visited chief Sikoongo and told him that president Sata wants to meet him at State House.
Chief Sikoongo flatly refused and referred Mwetwa to chief Mukuni of Livingstone. Mukuni is the spokesperson of the chiefs who have rejected the move by the PF government to cut Southern province into pieces and take some districts to provinces dominated by PF cadres.
The chiefs contend, among other issues, that if the districts are dismembered, local children will be forced to learn strange languages other than their mother tongue.
When Chief Sikookongo told Mwetwa that he was not interested, Mwetwa phoned Miles Sampa who spoke to the chief by phone. Sampa assured the chief that no one will know that he was sneaked into State House.
The chief refused saying he stands by the resolutions of other chiefs that Chirundu remains in Southern province.
Chief Sikongo told Sampa that if president Sata is interested in talking, he must meet all the chiefs at the same time.
But Sampa insisted until the chief told him that he can’t travel because he is sick. Sampa said government will ‘take care of his health’. The chief was unmoved and refused.
On Monday, Mwetwa went back to chief Sikookongo and pleaded with him to at least show respect to the head of Sta te and meet him. The chief agreed to meet Sata on Thursday at State House.
But the chief maintained that he and his subjects belong to Southern province.
The chief consulted his headmen who, according to sources in Chirundu, advised the chief that the PF government wants to make chiftainess Nkomesha a paramount chief of Lusaka whose chiefdom will extend to Chirundu.
Miles Sampa has been facing a brick wall in his quest to move Chirundu and Itezyi Tezyi from Southern province.
So far he has only managed to bribe chief Mwanchingwala of Mazabuka and one or two other unknown chiefs.