In his continued divide and rule tactics, president Edgar Lungu has ignored a court process and degazzeted Josiah Nyumbu as Chief Chiyengele of the Mbunda People in Kaoma district.
But Lungu’s move has upset Mbundas who see it as harassment.
A statement by the Mbunda Royal Establishment says the ‘Establishment (MRE) is in a deep sense of shock to learn that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has issued a Statutory Instrument number 29 of 2015 dated 29th May, 2015 withdrawing the recognition of despite public information that matters surrounding the Litunga’s purported dethronement of Chief Chiyengele are active in both the High Court and the Supreme Court of Zambia for determination.’
The statement issued by Mbunda Royal Establishment Kennedy Mubanga says, ‘as a learned lawyer, we are perplexed that President Lungu as custodian of the Republican Constitution could deliberately ignore the injunction granted by the Lusaka High Court and proceed to de-gazette Chief Chiyengele.’
Mubanga said ‘the matter comes up for hearing before High Court judge Mwila Chitabo, SC on 06th August, 2015 in the Lusaka High Court. We are alive to the fact that in the political domain, there are members of parliament who have been expelled by their respective political parties but since they have sought relief in our courts of law; their seats have not been declared vacant pending determination of their matters by the courts.’
The stamen further says ‘the Mbunda population in Zambia is deeply disturbed by the repeated harassment of their chief His Royal Highness Mwene Chiyengele of Limulunga. The recent incident happened on 9th June 2015 when a delegation from the BRE, police and acting provincial chiefs affairs officer served him with a de-gazetting notice signed by the Ministry of Chiefs permanent secretary and his provincial counterpart purportedly sanctioned by HE the President accompanied by an unsigned gazette notice. What is surprising is that this action coincides with the visit of the Vice President to Mongu. The question is how many times is Mwene Chiyengele going to be humiliated since the matter is still in the Lusaka High Court?’
Mubanga said: ‘the continued provocative actions by the BRE clearly indicate that they are trying to make Mbundas to turn against the PF government. We totally reject these machinations and we pledge to support the government of the day to keep Zambia intact as a unitary state so that development can reach all Zambians. We have been reliably informed that the life of HRH Mwene Chiyengele is in great danger from the BRE.
‘In the face of this unwarranted provocation by the BRE, the Mbunda Royal Establishment (MRE) and HRH Mwene Chiyengele are earnestly appealing for calm and patience among all the Mbundas in Zambia and other sympathizers who are very upset by these acts of hostility. We have to maintain the peace of our country at all costs even if our provokers are just preoccupied with disrupting it with impunity.’
Mubanga said, ‘In this vein the MRE would like to point out the following disturbing facts about these unfortunate issues.
‘The appointment of a Lozi as republican vice president was not well received by Mbundas due to the historical biasness of Lozis against Mbundas.
‘Status of purported gazette notice: The initial gazette notice for the appointment of HRH Mwene Chiyengele is signed by the president but the one for the de-gazetting is unsigned. State House was also not copied on the letters from the Permanent Secretaries.
‘In the light of the foregoing, the Mbunda Royal Establishment is of the considered view that the Republican President has committed contempt of court in our matter with the Barotse Royal Establishment by presumptuously de-gazetting HRH Mwene Chiyengele while the legal process is still in motion. Government should therefore show cause why it should not be cited for contempt of court.’