The Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) has strongly condemned the unauthorized use of the image of Paramount Chief Chitimukulu in a political message, expressing dismay at what it considers a disrespectful and malicious act.
In response to an article from the Kola Foundation, published online, the BRE expressed its concern over the appropriation of the image of Mwine-lubemba, Chitimukulu Kanyanta-Manga the second, in a political context. The foundation had called for a meeting of all descendants of Kola to discuss strategies for protecting their purportedly threatened existence in Zambia.
The BRE clarified that neither the author of the article nor the Kola Foundation had the authority to use the image of Mwine-lubemba in their message. The establishment highlighted that the message, issued by Mr. Patrick Bwalya Mukuka, an agent of the Kola Foundation, included a photograph of Mwine-lubemba Chitimukulu Kanyanta-Manga the second, creating a false impression that the Chitimukulu endorsed the message, which was not the case.
In a statement released to ZANIS in Kasama today, Ukusefya Pa Ng’wena Secretary, Richard Mukuka, stated that such actions are not only in bad taste but also a deliberate attack on the nobility and honor of the Bemba Royal Establishment.
The BRE affirmed the constitutional right of the Bemba-speaking people to engage in political activism and identify themselves as Bemba, but strongly emphasized the need to refrain from involving traditional leaders in political calls.
“The constitution of Zambia (see 2016, Part 12, Articles 165–172), which we ourselves have fashioned, does not allow us to recruit our kings and queens in our political activism,” the statement read.
The establishment urged Bemba individuals and all Zambians to exercise prudence, good judgment, and care when exercising their constitutional rights, emphasizing the importance of respecting the cultural and traditional significance of the royal establishment.
As the custodians of Bemba culture and tradition, the BRE emphasized its commitment to upholding the dignity and respect associated with the Bemba monarchy, urging all citizens to contribute to maintaining the cultural integrity of Zambia.