North-western chiefs to discuss Sata’s attacks on them

Traditional leaders in North-western province are planning to meet next week to discuss President Michael Sata’s verbal attacks on them.

The chiefs are expected to meet on Wednesday in Solwezi. One chief told the Watchdog that they will also respond to Sata’s appointment of MPs from that province as deputy ministers.

In the first week of December, the chiefs from North-western province petitioned Sata and demanded that he should consider appointing some people from North-western province into his cabinet, diplomatic service and other public jobs.

The chiefs also requested Sata to allow local people to take up senior positions in the province and mines instead of the present situation where most top jobs are occupied by people from president Sata’ s region.

But Sata responded angrily on Friday 9, December, 2011.

He said the chiefs are promoting tribalism.

“Tribe is not a criterion, is not a qualification for employment. Those chiefs inNorthWesternProvinceduring the campaigns they were lying to people that Sata will bring war. Then again they came to lie; no, no, no Sata is going to take you to Angola. And now today they say they want to remove everybody who is inNorth-WesternProvinceand employ their own relatives,’ said Sata.

But a few days later, he appointed two MPs from the North-western province as junior ministers.

But a chief who talked to the Watchdog explained that most chiefs feel that the appointment of their MPs as deputy ministers just shows what Sata thinks of people along the border withAngola.

He said although the matter will be discussed by all the chiefs to come up with one position, most chiefs feel that Sata despises North westerners and hence believes they are only fit for inferior jobs.

The chief explained that even though they wrote to Sata, he has not responded to them formally but they have just read in the media that he referred to them as tribalists and that he threatened to have them arrested.

He said the chiefs will therefore meet to make a follow up on their petition and to discuss the media reports which describe them as tribalists.

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