Saturday, November 21, 2009

Litunga was aware of Aka’s claims before Post story, reveals Milupi

Litunga was aware of Aka’s claims before Post story, reveals Milupi
By Mwala Kalaluka
Sat 21 Nov. 2009, 04:01 CAT

LUENA Independent member of parliament Charles Milupi yesterday said Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika’s assertions that the Litunga was behind the MMD’s fallout in Western Province were factually reported and attempts to discredit The Post over the matter are baseless.

Commenting on the issue where the MMD has accused Litunga Imwiko of using chairman for the dissolved MMD provincial executive committee Simasiku Namakando to cause problems for the ruling party in Western Province, Milupi advised the MMD not to attempt to bring the institution of the Litungaship into disrepute.

“We will not take that (MMD denial). We know that you (The Post) are factual on that matter,” Milupi said in an interview.

“Attempts to discredit The Post over this issue are baseless. If they feel injured, why haven’t they gone to court to say we have been misquoted… The BRE (Barotse Royal Establishment) through other sources are aware that those were matters that were really discussed, so attempts to discredit The Post is a futile exercise.”

And sources within the BRE yesterday revealed that Litunga Lubosi Imwiko was well-aware of Akashambatwa’s assertions during an MMD Caucus held in Lusaka last weekend before The Post carried a story from the meeting quoting inside sources.

“I know that the Litunga has said they are aware of the issues that were discussed,” the source said.

And Milupi asked the MMD to immediately apologise to Litunga Imwiko and the BRE Kuta (court) for the shabby manner they were attempting to treat him.

“We are concerned about the issue arising from the two-day seminar the MMD had, especially their reference or their attempt to attribute their problems as a party and government to the Litunga particularly and the BRE in general,” Milupi said.

“Since the Litunga and the Kuta reside in Limulunga, which is in Luena Constituency, as member of parliament for that area I am concerned that the institution of the Litungaship, which is revered in Barotseland is being brought into disrepute.”

Milupi said the Litungaship and the BRE had been in existence centuries before Zambia got independence and before the MMD came into existence.

Milupi said the dissatisfaction over the performance of the MMD was being expressed by many in the country, including chiefs, some of whom have made public statements to that effect.

Milupi said this dissatisfaction stemmed out of the high poverty and unemployment levels and the hopelessness with which the average Zambian was engulfed in.

“The very fact that the MMD was meeting over a period of two days is indicative of the fact that they themselves recognise that they have problems, which they need to address,” Milupi said.

“We do not want to involve ourselves with internal party politics but my understanding of the issue of the dissolution of the MMD provincial leadership in the Western Province arose out of two issues; that of the need for an MMD vice-president to come from the Western Province in view of the support that the then chairman was providing to the candidature of Mr Rupiah Banda for presidency.”

Milupi said the second issue was that of the need to stick to the MMD constitution by holding a convention.

“These were issues that were well-articulated. How then can they link these issues and the general dissatisfaction of the populace to the Litunga and the BRE?” Milupi said.

“The Litunga does not speak openly on subjects such as these. This goes back hundred of years and this is how we have been. We demand that the MMD apologises to His Majesty the Litunga, the BRE and Kuta for the shabby manner in which they are attempting to treat him.”

Milupi said the people of Western Province were aware that previous governments had attempted to diminish the authority of the Litungaship. He said when such a thing happens, the people would rally behind the Litunga.

Milupi said the MMD’s fall out in the province was emanating from President Banda’s statement that he never solicited for a vote from Western Province.

On assertions that Namakando and his clique were campaigning for his newly-formed political party, Milupi wondered why the MMD was being jittery over a party that had not even been launched.

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