CHIEFS and traditional affairs minister Professor Nkandu Luo says President Michael Sata has not gazetted Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.
In an interview, Prof Luo said the Bemba Royal Establishment had not followed procedure leading to the enthronement of Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.
“The issue of chiefs in terms of who becomes a chief by title is based on the chiefs Act. The chiefs Act stipulates that after the selection is done by the royal establishments. They have to send these minutes to the government. After the government has examined the minutes and it is satisfied that this person qualifies, the ministry then sends them to the President,” she said. “Only the President has powers to gazette a chief, and as far as we are concerned, there is no Paramount Chief Chitimukulu, until that process is done, and it has been done for all the chiefs in Zambia with no exception.”
Prof Luo explained that the Chiefs Act stipulate that a person could only become a chief after being gazetted by the President.
“That is what our chiefs Act says. Even those of you who are saying ‘Paramount Chief Chitimukulu’, do you have evidence that he has been gazetted? He has not been gazetted. So, there is absolutely no discussion as far as I am concerned. We have to wait until such a time that the selection minutes and procedures are followed,” said Prof Luo.
And Prof Luo warned UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema against using chiefs to champion his political agendas.
She said the government did not want political leaders to use chiefs as political tools.