PATRICK Mucheleka has advised Chitimukulu, paramount chief of the Bemba people, not to be caught up in PF partisan politics.

He accuses the paramount chief of strategising to have finance minister Bwalya Ng’andu either as President Edgar Lungu’s replacement or as the running mate.

Meanwhile, Mucheleka says “my uncle” Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has ‘stopped making noise’ because he is of no value to the ruling PF now.

Mucheleka is the UPND deputy secretary general-politics and a former Lubansenshi independent member of parliament (2011 to 2015) in Luwingu district, Northern Province.

Mucheleka explained that some Bemba chiefs had confided in him their dissatisfaction with Chitimukulu’s political stance.

He stressed that Chitimukulu was pushing for Dr Ng’andu’s presidential candidature.

Asked if his allegation was mere conjecture or a statement of fact, Mucheleka answered: “are you forgetting that I’m a member of the Bemba royal family?”

“I’m saying Chitimukulu is now pushing for Bwalya Ng’andu…I speak to so many chiefs, except the chief I got this information from declined to be named. I speak to so many chiefs, other than Chitimukulu and there are other Bemba chiefs who are not happy by the partisan position that Chitimukulu has been taking on these issues. They (Bemba chiefs) are the ones who are even encouraging me…I advise my paramount chief not to get up in PF politics. Leave that to them as they continue to fight…” Mucheleka said. “When I tell my uncle (GBM) that what he is doing is not good for the Bemba kingdom, I’m not speaking for myself. I speak for many chiefs who cannot openly open up for fear of being victimised. They are not happy! When I spoke against Bill 10, as it relates to chiefs, I went to radio Mano; I received so many phone calls from Bemba chiefs to commend me and to encourage me to continue.”

Mucheleka underscored that Chitimukulu’s actions mainly border on self-interest.

“It has nothing to do with him liking Bwalya Ng’andu. Has he (Chitimukulu) ever liked anyone, anyway? It’s about himself! He has thrown himself into the political arena to an extent where he is so much afraid of the unknown. This is why you see him quite often coming out and saying ‘no, the UPND wants to remove me from my thrown once they come in power.’ No! We can’t,” Mucheleka explained.

“He has mentioned me that ‘they are using Mucheleka, my own nephew, to try and remove me.’ But there is no truth whatsoever to what the paramount chief is alleging, that once UPND comes into power, he will be removed. No one will remove him!”

He added that the policy of the UPND, now and in government, is to respect their royal highnesses, “including Chitimukulu.”

“He has thrown so much mud at himself by engaging in partisan politics. Therefore, he thinks that each time he makes a statement defending PF and I rebut, which I often do, then we want to remove him. No! We are not going to remove him and we don’t have that intention,” he emphasised.

“Our intention is to respect the chiefs. He has gone into PF partisan politics of wanting to decide who should be Lungu’s running mate or who should take over. There is confusion in the PF to an extent that even Lungu himself has become a lame duck – he doesn’t know what to do. This thing will just explode! You haven’t seen anything yet in PF.”

Mucheleka further complained that in Northern Province, “out of all those things that [president Michael] Sata promised or started, there is no single project the Lungu presidency can point at and say ‘this is what we have done as PF in the last 10 years.’”

“If you talk about anything, it is just how they are pleasing Chitimukulu through perhaps the favours they are extending to him. Those favours have nothing to do with the people of Northern Province. If it was not for speaking for the people, if it was about self-interest, I would have been behaving perhaps worse than my uncle GBM,” Mucheleka noted, further stressing his sadness about how Mwamba was “manipulated” to re-join the PF.

“They have manipulated my own uncle, GBM. They took advantage of his temperament – he snaps whenever there is a little issue. There he is now!”

Mwamba, a former defence minister and one-time UPND vice-president, is now PF national mobilisation committee deputy chairman.

Mucheleka appealed to Mwamba: “to just come back to UPND and stop insulting HH (Hakainde Hichilema).”

“HH has never said anything against GBM. This is politics and so, let him come back. I’m against anyone who tries to talk about tribalism,” Mucheleka said.

He further regretted that Mwamba had allowed himself to be manipulated by some people in Northern Province.

“If you recall in 2011 when PF formed government, GBM was very powerful. He was defence minister under Sata and he was calling the shots in Northern Province, controlling the politics in the north. But now Freedom Sikazwe has been the most powerful person in the north, calling the shots. He (Sikazwe) has managed to have most of his relatives appointed as permanent secretaries,” Mucheleka explained.

“Are you telling me that Freedom Sikazwe may like to see a strong GBM in PF again? That is wishful thinking. But GBM, being who he is, they manipulated him by using three people – Chitimukulu, Samuel Mukupa and another young fellow in the Northern Province politics Everet Chela.”

Mucheleka charged that those in the PF had now put Mwamba: “where they think he deserves to be.”

“The people he went with to PF when he resigned from UPND have since abandoned him. That is why you see that he is so quiet today. Do you see him making the same noise he has been making?” said Mucheleka.

“GBM has been abandoned and Chitimukulu is now pushing for Dr Bwalya Ng’andu either to take over from Lungu or as the running mate. The chiefs in Northern Province are quietly making disparaging remarks about GBM. GBM is now alone!”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here