HOUSE of Chiefs chairperson chief Ngabwe says putting an innocent person in prison is like stealing someone’s right to live peacefully. And General Malimba Masheke says where there is no peace, development cannot take place.
In an interview after attending a three-day International Chiefs Conference organised by the Universal Peace Federation at Protea Hotel in Chipata on Thursday, chief Ngabwe said if all wrong things were stopped, “we could have a beautiful and peaceful Zambia”.
He said chiefs should differentiate themselves from politicians by providing advice, counselling and making sure that there was justice and fair play for everyone that was living in Zambia.
“If all the chiefs did that, there will be peace in Zambia, we won’t talk about tribalism, nepotism. Even the corruption and issues that are wrong, it’s because of not following God’s principles of loving each other. If I steal from you, it means I don’t love you because stealing from you is the same as killing you. Even when you steal from the nation, you don’t love the nation, it’s killing the nation. And stealing is not only money, there are so many forms of stealing; you grab land from someone, you put someone who has not done anything in prison, you have stolen his right to live peacefully,”
He said he was happy that most chiefs in the country had given themselves to God.
“I am happy because if chiefs become Christians and living on Christian principles, even the issue of Zambia being a Christian nation becomes easy because it is the various chiefdoms that form Zambia. That is the only way we can implement this idea of Zambia being a Christian nation. We have to influence the Christian ways, the Christian living in all the chiefdoms. If that happens, Zambia becomes a Christian nation, its not a Christian nation just by name; it’s believing in it, being part and parcel of principles of Christianity,”
chief Ngabwe said.
He said traditional leaders would resolve a lot of quarrels and disputes in chiefdoms if there was peace and unity.
“As chairperson of the House of Chiefs, I have a lot of information on the problems going on in various chiefdoms in Zambia and that is not bringing peace. There are squabbles, fighting, Zambia can’t be peaceful. The politicians are our children and we are the only ones who can talk to any politician because they all belong to a particular chief. You can become whatever you are but you are under a particular chief and that chief is your father, your mother who can be able to help you. Chiefs should not be partisan, chiefs will work with the government of the day,”
said chief Ngabwe.
And in a speech read on his behalf by former Eastern Province permanent secretary Eularia Zulu, Gen Masheke, who is UPF Zambia chapter chairperson, said traditional leaders were the torchbearers in their chiefdoms.
“Our theme has been ‘building strong families for peaceful and prosperous chiefdoms in Africa’. When I reflect, it is history made here in a small city, a new city which has just been declared called Chipata. Our hundred traditional leaders from eight different countries came together to talk about peace, this was a high level conference on peace,”
Gen Masheke said.
He said chiefs were important leaders installed by God’s grace.
“I have learnt that we can live together with others from different countries, from different ethnicities, religion or religious affiliation and so on. Then what makes us come together like this? I believe that we have one common ideal, a common interest, God’s original purpose, to learn from one another, to bring hope and blessings to our people,” Gen Masheke said.
He said he was sure that the objectives of the conference were accomplished.
“Traditional leaders, government and religious leaders and the common people have one common purpose, to build a society of sustainable peace and development because where there is no peace, development cannot prevail,” said Gen Masheke.
The conference saw the formation of the International Chiefs Association for Peace and Prosperity with the Zambian chapter being led by former House of Chiefs chairperson chief Ntambu.