Speaking at State House today following the swearing in of Patrick Ngoma as the Second Deputy Minister of Education, the president appeared to imply that there would be no concessions toward the Barotseland separatist issue, as tensions have mounted over the course of the past few months.
However President Sata denied rumors that he intended to displace Chief Litunga. He said that comments made by Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) president Charles Milupi to people in Western Province that the PF government was scheming to take away some powers was untrue.
“Mr Milupi is telling lies on radio to people in Western Province that I want to take away powers from the Litunga. What powers does Litunga have that can be taken away? The Litunga is just like any other Paramount Chief. He does not have any special powers. We only have five paramount chiefs in this country,” President Sata said.
Tomorrow Chief Litunga is expected to attend an event featuring the elder statements Sikota Wina at his home farm in Lusaka’s Chilanga area, where Mr. Wina is expected to talk about his firsthand knowledge of the politics behind the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which promises expanded local authority for Western Province but has never been enacted.