The Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) yesterday allowed the UPND President Hakainde Hichilema, Lubansenshi Independent MP Patrick Mucheleka and entourage to meet Henry Kanyantta Sosala after 17 hours in the dark.
The Chitimukulu blessed Mr. Hichilema and wished him well in the upcoming elections. According to the Bemba traditionalists, the move to meet Mr. Hichilema at this time shows acceptance of the UPND and only happens in rare cases.
Mr. Hichilema and his entourage, that also included UPND Vice-President Dr. Canisius Banda, Party National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango and local UPND leadership were delayed to meet the Chief by the crowds that came to meet them at Kasama Airport and those that lined-up along the road.
The PF government, who have blocked Mr Hichilema from meeting with the Chitimukulu on a previous visit, has so far refused to recognize Mr. Sosala and prevented him from occupying the royal palace. The UPND leader reiterated his commitment to recognizing him if elected president on January 20 2015.
“Once we win, we will recognize you and this will be our first destination to seek guidance and counsel on the management of the country in unity and peace. We believe that you are not just the Chief for the Bemba nation, but for everyone in Zambia including myself. We want to correct the injustices and ridicule that has been happening in the Chitimukulu Kingdom,” Mr. Hichilema said.
The UPND leader appealed to the Chief to unite the Bemba people and the people of Zambia as a country, adding that his party the UPND was seeking his (Chitimukulu) guidance as they go into the election.
And the Mwine Lubemba Spokesperson, Washanga Impika Shalubemba, told the UPND leader that there should be no discrimination based on tribe and advised all political parties to explain themselves to the people.
“Whoever will be picked should be president for all Zambians though we put our blessings upon you,” Washanga Impika Shalubemba told Mr. Hichilema.
He maintained that selection of traditional leaders should be the preserve of the traditional council in each chiefdom and government should have no role to play.