20 November 2012

Zambia: State Defends Litunga

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says the State will defend and protect the Litunga and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) from any attempts of aggression being fomented by a clique of 'misguided' individuals.

Mr Sata has credible information that there were certain 'frustrated and ill advised people intending to bring strife to the Litunga and the BRE.

"This Government is committed to ensuring peace and stability in Western Province and views the Litunga and the BRE as an important part of that process. The Litunga and the BRE symbolises national unity and identity.

"Therefore, those seeking to undermine the Litunga and the BRE using unlawful means will be dealt with firmly. As responsible elected officers of the people, we pledge that urgent and practical measures will be engaged to nip these illegitimate schemes in the bud," he said.

This is according to a statement released by President Sata's Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah.

Mr Sata warned that the State security wings would not sit idle and watch reckless people sow discord in Western Province.

Outspoken BRE Ngambela, Clement Wainyae Sinyinda, last week resigned his position citing lack of protection from the office of the Litunga, among other reasons.

In his resignation letter dated November 10, 2012, Mr Sinyinda said the Litunga, the paramount chief of the Lozi, neither sufficiently protected his office nor accorded it the authority that it deserved.

"In my own humble understanding, Your Majesty, the Ngambela's office is higher than that of the Indunas and Likombwas who, under normal circumstances, ought to recognise the authority and direction of the sitting Sope (Prime Minister)," he said in his letter addressed to the Litunga.

The Ngambela wondered why such authority was being flouted with the knowledge of the Litunga who he said showed little sign to protect him.

Mr Sinyinda said he is concerned with the Litunga's marginalisation of the office of the Ngambela in a number of strategic issues that concerned the BRE.

Mr Sinyinda, who was Education Deputy Minister in the MMD regime, was installed as BRE prime minister on January 31, this year at a ceremony held at the Lealui Royal Village.

He has in the past one year been in the forefront spearheading Barotseland reforms and the most recent being the incident in which he appealed to the people in the region to reject the constitution-making process.

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