THE traditional leaders are the governance stakeholders who are intertwined with their subjects especially in the rural parts of Zambia. In some instances, the traditional leaders have been performing the functions of elected representatives such as Members of Parliament.
Last month, one of the chiefs in Southern Province, Chief Chikanta while at a meeting with adopted candidates, urged the electorate to elect a representative who would offer quality representation as he was tired of performing functions of a Members of Parliament.
It is on this score that we find the unwarranted attacks on Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people by UPND’s Patrick Mucheleka. It is not new for the person closer to five-time losing Presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema to demean the Bemba royal establishment without any reprimand or disassociating himself to such hallucinations.
Mr Mucheleka’s comments are therefore a drawback to the harmony subsisting between the traditional leadership and central government.
The government is also mobilising financial resources to facilitate the construction of the new House of Chiefs owing to the role that they play in the governance process.
The other notable reforms to the conditions of service from chiefs is placing them on funeral and medical insurance schemes which are meant at enhancing the funeral services and medical care in line with the modern needs of the society.
It is on the value that the PF government has attached to the chiefs that they have their palaces across the country constructed and the continued commitment to deal with succession wrangles.
Political will was demonstrated through the failed Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill no. 10 of 2019 which among other things had the provision for their resolution of succession disputes had it not been short down at the instigation of Mr Hichilema.
The PF cherishes the long held relationship with the traditional leadership hence it is the only political party which has presented its running mate Professor Nkandu Luo to three out of four Paramount Chiefs so far.
It is therefore discernible that the chiefs continued support to the government of the day is testimony that they are happy with the open door policy of the government as compared to yesteryears.
There is need for a sustained relationship between the central government and traditional authority. It is therefore our firm belief that the sacred position the chieftaincy possesses must be respected as they cannot be excluded from the governance process.
We therefore condemn the attacks on Chitimukulu and stand it is our hope that Mr Mucheleka will be reprimanded for this uncouth behaviour.
MARVIN CHANDA MBERI,