Ailing President Charles Mwango Katongo Chilufya Sata’s government has maintained that currently the position of Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people is vacant.
Deputy Minister for Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Josephine Limata told Parliament Tuesday evening that as far as the government was concerned the Bemba Royal Establishment through the Bashilubemba has not yet elected a Paramount Chief.
This was after Solwezi West Member of Parliament Humphrey Mwanza inquired on how far government has gone in recognising Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Chief Chitimukulu.
‘The Bemba Royal Establishment has not yet elected Chitimukulu, we are waiting for a response from the family tree, it’s not our problem,’ Josephine Limata said.
Limata refused to respond to a question on the presence of Police Officers at Chitimukulu’s Palace arguing that the question could not be answered because the government was still waiting for the family tree to choose their Chitimukulu.
Katuba Member of Parliament Jonas Shakafuswa then raised a point of order on Limata for insinuating that the family tree chooses chiefs when in actual fact their function was only to show the family tree, to which Speaker of the House Matibini ruled that family tree was a figure of speech and explained that the Deputy Minister (Limata) was referring to people responsible for determining eligible candidates.
And Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Prof Nkandu Luo said she had decided to remain mute on the issue of Chitimukulu because it had been politicized.
Luo was mute through-out the debate until she was compelled by the Speaker to respond following several points of order against her for being mute while her deputy was struggling to answer questions.