[By Anthony Tapa in Solwezi]
CHIEF Matebo Evans Nyeleti of the Kaonde people of Kalumbila district says he is not on the throne illegally but that it is his birthright.
During a meeting he called at his palace, chief Matebo said people would not deny him enjoyment of his birthright.
“You will not deny me my birthright and I will continue reigning as chief Matebo. If this seat was not given to me by God, then I am going to be dethroned but if it is from God, no one is going to dethrone me,” chief Matebo said.
He said he wanted to see development in his chiefdom just like other chiefdoms, which had almost attained district status.
He also urged his subjects to desist from engaging in fights but look up to God for guidance.
Chief Matebo explained that he left the North Western Province chiefs Indaba last Tuesday because of the love that he had for the church and the leaders who were in attendance.
“The choice I made to accept the decision made by my fellow chiefs was the wisest thing which you expect from a leader,” he said about the decision to eject him from the meeting on account of him being illegally installed chief. “I have respect for chieftainship and I want to learn from other chiefs on the best way to rule my people.”
Chief Matebo further said associating with the government does not mean the government installed him on the throne.
He advised chiefs perpetrating imaginary wrangles in his chiefdom to desist from doing so for them to be respected by his subjects.
“I don’t want to see bloodshed in Matebo chiefdom, let’s not insult the chiefs, let’s learn from them,” said chief Matebo.
During a Caritas Zambia organised chiefs Indaba Matebo and another claiming to be the rightful heir to the throne went to the meeting, causing confusion regarding who to attend.
The Catholic Diocese of Solwezi then called an urgent meeting with senior chiefs who resolved that chief Matebo should leave and he agreed.
However, chief Matebo’s subjects accused senior chief Mukumbi and chief Mumena of interfering in the Matebo chiefdom.
The subjects alleged that Senior Chief Mukumbi and chief Mumena were meddling in the Matebo Royal Establishment matters.
The subjects said the two chiefs were supporting Colace, who lost the succession case in the Supreme Court.
Nyambi Harrison, who spoke on behalf of the other subjects, wondered why the two chiefs have focused on chief Matebo went they had their on chiefdoms to preside over.
Nyambi said the people chose Evans Nyeleti as their chief and would not back-peddle on their choice.
He said it was unfortunate that even after hearing the court ruling, the two chiefs had continued to cause confusion in the chiefdom.
Nyambi urged the two chiefs to leave the Matebo royal establishment alone to freely govern themselves.
He said the people of Matebo chiefdom would not change their mind to crown another chief as they had already chosen Evans Nyeleti.
He said they do not want to see what happened in 2015 when Ben Kampelo was assassinated.
Nyambi further called on government to consider setting up proper chiefdom boundaries as part of their chiefdom had been encroached on.