Let the UPND presidential petition be heard and moved to the international criminal court, ICC in order to bring to an end the tensions and divisions in the country, demands traditional leaders. Addressing a media briefing at UPND President Hakainde Hichilema’s residence this afternoon, Chief Chikanta of the tonga speaking people in Kalomo district said the nation is grappling with anxiety and divisions owing to uncertainties surrounding the Presidential petition which was not heard. Chief Chikanta said the on-going divisions and tension in the country has been compounded by the poor handling of the petition hearing and partiality of the judiciary hence the need for the ICC to hear the case to allow for sanity and unity to prevail in the country. The Chief said the recent arrest and charging of the UPND President Hakainde Hichilema on tramped up treason charges is further fueling the tension and also expressed concern at the manner his house was raided and the way he was arrested. He said Police have arrested President Hichilema more than fifteen times and at no time did he fail to comply or flee the country to deserve the brutal and aggravated manner police handled his arrest. It was purely aggravated robbery because the police were masked, broke into the house damaging property and looting property including eating foods and stealing cash in the house. We condemn this and we demand an explanation from Police Inspector General for those responsible of the aggravated robbery at President Hichilema’s residence. Therefore we demand for his immediate release, arguing that any misfortune that will befall the opposition leader will have serious consequences on the peace of the nation and government will be held responsible. As chiefs we also demand that the Petition should be heard in order to end the tensions and divisions in the country. that the continued ethnic insults being peddled by senior PF leaders should be criminalised and ended forthwith while all officers that were involved in the aggravated robbery at the Hichilema residence during the search be brought to book. Speaking at the same occasion chief Mukuni said the Edgar Lungu PF regime should not blame anyone for the calamity that will befall this country should it continue with its arrogance as chiefs who are the custodians of the country’s values and traditions are sending a clear warning of an impending national crisis. Chief Mukuni said the harassment of President Hichilema cannot be blushed under the carpet as it has the potential to run the country into deep trouble hence the need for Edgar Lungu and the PF to stop being arrogant and listen to advice instead of clamping down on dissenting voices. Meanwhile, Chieftainess Mwenda has questioned Zambia’s Christian nation status in the midst of the ongoing hatred, divisions and killings, calling on Presidents Hakainde Hichilema and Edgar Lungu whom she described as her two sons to learn to co-exist adding that arrogance will take the country down a crisis drain. And chief chikanta has described the decision by the police to stop the chiefs from meeting President Hichilema at his Lilayi Police cells as an insult to the traditional leadership in the country. The chief explained that his team which went to visit the UPND leader were turned away at the Lilayi gate by officers manning the facility who adviced them to seek permission from their superiors at Police headquarters who when they went also asked them to officially write to the minister of Home Affairs for permission to see the incarcerated leader. The traditional leaders also expressed concern at the deteorating health of President Hichilema who they said was medically fit till the night his house was raided and his family teargassed. He should immediately be granted access for medical services at the hospital of his choice failure to which government will be held responsible should anything happen. Among the traditional leaders were chief Moonze, Mukuni, Mwenekandala of Mongu, Ishima of Zambezi and Chieftainess Mwenda of Chikankata,Chief Shimbizhi from Central,Chief Ishima from North-western and Western Provinces,Chief Chikanta from Kalomo district, Chief Chona and Hamusonde from Monze, Chief Moono and Chief Chibuluma in Mumbwa district.