President Edgar Lungu has directed Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja to provide security to three rebel chiefs from Western Province after they paid a courtesy visit to State House on Wednesday 6th November 2019.
The President said he was concerned that Mbunda and Nkoya chiefs are living in fear after attempts on their lives by known people in Western Province.
He said he was dismayed that there have been attempts on the lives of Chief Chiengele and chief Kahare and yet the suspects had not been arrested.
The President has since directed Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo to ensure that Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja positions police in all trouble spots in Western Province.
President Lungu has further directed his Special Assistant for legal Affairs Sukwana Lukangaba to follow up the matter.
The three ‘rebel’ chiefs, Josiah Mubukwanu Litia Nyumbu (Chief Chiengele), Webster Mulubisha (Chief Mwene Mutondo and Stanford Muyowe (chief Kahare are all not recognised as chiefs by the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE)
Josiah Mubukwanu Litia Nyumbu was dethroned by the BRE in April 2014 after he refused to appear before the Kuta following accusations from his subjects that he was illegally allocating land. President Lungu subsequently withdrew his recognition of Nyumbu on 5th June 2015. He was replaced by Mr Kashungule Nyumbu who was installed by the BRE as Chief Chiengele on 7th April 2018.
Josiah Nyumbu however continued masquerading as chief Chiengele until he was badly beaten and forced out of the palace by his former subjects on 19th July 2019.
In August this year, the BRE installed Justin Kahare, the son to late Edward Kahare who was the chief but died last year, as the new chief Kahare but he was blocked from entering the palace by supporters of Stanford Muyowe, the ‘rebel’ chief who was part of the three ‘chiefs’ that visited State House yesterday.
Muyowe was however recently forced out of the palace by the BRE and Imilema youths to allow the new chief to occupy it. He was badly beaten in the process of being removed from the palace.
It is not clear if the police will now push out the BRE recognised chiefs from their palaces following President Lungu’s directive to the police to offer protection to the three ‘rebel’ chiefs.
All chiefs in Barotseland (Western Province) are installed by the BRE after they are selected by the respective families. The Zambian government has however made amendments to the law regarding recognition of chiefs and dethroning of chiefs in an attempt to weaken the Litunga and cause rebellion within the region by supporting rebel chiefs not recognised by the traditional authority in the region.