CHIEF Simamba of Siavonga district has complained of hunger in his chiefdom. During this year’s Bagande Lwiindi ceremony, chief Simamba, who spoke through his representative Phanwell Simamba, appealed to the government to send relief food to his chiefdom. He also complained of water shortages in his chiefdom and called for provision of piped water and dams.
Chief Simamba also appealed to the government to address crocodile attacks on Lake Kariba. The traditional leader suggested that victims of crocodile attacks should be compensated by the government.
And chiefs and traditional affairs minister Lawrence Sichalwe said the government acknowledged traditional ceremonies because they promoted tourism and economic development.
In a speech read on his behalf by acting permanent secretary Lubasi Sakwiba, Sichalwe said traditional ceremonies also played a major role in promoting unity, culture and accorded human dignity.
He, however, said in order to enable traditional leaders effectively and efficiently participate in governance and development of the country as provided in the 2016 amended Constitution, his ministry was in the process of reviewing and amending the chiefs Act as well as developing a national policy on chieftaincy and traditional affairs.
Sichalwe said the policy would, among other things, provide a framework to facilitate the administration of chiefs’ welfare, define the role of the institution of chieftaincy in national development, eradication of child marriage and promotion of good governance.
He added that the government was determined to take development to rural areas because infrastructure development was one of the requisites for a sustained positive economic growth. Sichalwe also appealed to chief Simamba’s subjects to stop engaging in gender-based violence (GBV) and early marriages.
He said the chiefs, as custodians of the tradition, customs and values, must continue working hand in hand with the government in strengthening and implementing strategies which safeguard the core traditions and do away with negative practices of GBV and child marriage. Sichalwe said child marriage had serious detrimental effects not only on the girls but on the community as a whole.
He said parents and members of the community needed to provide support and preservation of the girl children for them have equal education opportunities.
Sichalwe said the girl children were capable of attaining high ambition in life and should therefore not only be relegated to child bearing and house chores.
“I’m appealing to everyone to report cases of gender based violence to the police and other relevant authorities so that perpetrators are brought to book,” said Sichalwe.
Among dignitaries who attended the ceremony were senior chief Mukuni, Mbabala member of parliament Ephraim Belemu, the Choma mayor, Siavonga council chairperson James Simata and district commissioner Lovemore Kanyama.