Friday, December 18, 2009

Banda wants to meet Lamba chiefs next week

Banda wants to meet Lamba chiefs next week
By George Chellah
Fri 18 Dec. 2009, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda is expected to meet traditional leaders on the Copperbelt Province with a view to finding solutions to the problems that have befallen his administration and the ruling party in Lambaland.

Well-placed sources at the provincial administration in Ndola yesterday disclosed that President Banda was scheduled to have a meeting with Lamba chiefs before Christmas.

“By now, nobody including those in government can dispute that there are serious problems in Lambaland. As a result, the President intends to travel here between 21st and 22nd December, 2009 to meet traditional leaders from the Copperbelt,” the source revealed.

“Unless he President Banda just cancels the programme otherwise he is expected to be here by that time to meet the chiefs so that they can try and find solutions to the problems the government is facing in Lambaland.

“That's why right now as I am talking to you there is a covert operation underway. All district commissioners have been given special orders to ensure that chiefs are ferried from their districts to Luanshya where President Banda is scheduled to meet the chiefs.”

The source said President Banda's programme on the Copperbelt was in progress and everything had been put in place for his scheduled meeting with the traditional leaders.

“The boss wants to meet the chiefs so that he can try and do the usual pleading, like he did in Barotseland with the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) with the hope of rejuvenating the lost support,” the source said.

“The plans are that if the President goes ahead to have his meeting with the chiefs…that is if he doesn't cancel his trip after this revelation, the provincial administration is also making manoeuvres and to pressure chiefs to issue some form of a communiqué backing the President and probably disagree with science, technology and vocational training minister Gabriel Namulambe's observations.

“But I doubt if it will be easy to convince the chiefs because Namulambe is very strong on the ground. Unless he President comes with money and gives them but even then I doubt if that can work because Lamba chiefs seem annoyed too, all of us here know that.

Therefore, I don't think the chiefs will be willing to embarrass themselves by giving views that are different from Namulambe and George Mpombo. I say so because the problems of Lambaland are very similar. Anyway, let's wait and see things change.”

The source wondered why President Banda wants to meet the chiefs before meeting Namulambe.

“As someone who is part of the provincial administration, we know for a fact that the boss has not yet met Namulambe ever since he raised those honest observations on the Mwanawasa legacy. And what shocks us is the decision for him to meet the chiefs before he sits down to reason with his own minister Namulambe. Probably, he wants to get Namulambe's concerns from the chiefs themselves.”

Recently, President Banda sent Copperbelt Province minister Mwansa Mbulakulima and permanent secretary Villie Lombanya to meet Lamba chiefs and resolve the issues pertaining to Namulambe's observations on the Mwanawasa legacy.

President Banda sent the Copperbelt provincial leadership to engage the traditional leaders in an effort to resolve the issues surrounding Namulambe's statement.

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