MINISTER of Chiefs and Traditional affairs Lawrence Sichalwe has advised members of chiefs families not to bewitch the sitting chiefs so that they occupy institutional new palaces.
Speaking on Friday during the cutting of the ribbon for chieftainess Nyanje’s palace, Sichalwe advised the royal family to support the chieftainess.
“This is a government institution handed over to the chieftainess so that any successive chief will live in here, in short ni ka state house ka cifumu but sinakambe kuti munipayire mfumu imwe ba banja (it’s a small state house for chiefs but I am not saying that now you the family members should kill my chiefs) so that you stay in here, no! Support her and anyone who succeed will stay and live here,” he stated.
Earlier in his speech, the minister called on traditional leaders to take bold steps in ensuring that they take full responsibility in governing their chiefdoms.
“The institution of the chieftainess has been the integral component of Zambia’s administration, particularly at local government level. Traditional leaders have the responsibility of governing local communities and championing development in their chiefdoms and our government recognises the institution of chieftainess for social stability and order and also an institution for social unity,” he said.
He said the Patriotic Front government approved the construction of chiefs’ palaces in 2014.
“The Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs had noted the deplorable state of your old palace and therefore committed to priotise your palace so as to provide you with decent accommodation not withstanding the government resources,” Sichalwe stated.
“30 palaces were planned for the first phase, translated to 3 palaces per province and these palaces are institutional palaces and should be occupied by successive chiefs.”
He added that the construction of the palace by Chabalange General Dealers was not an easy task.
Meanwhile, chieftainess Nyanje thanked the government for the construction of the palace saying lack of a house does not give an individual dignity and respect.
“I thank all of you government officials who have come to give me this house which you built for me. I say thank you to the government. You did a good thing because if you don’t have a house, you don’t receive respect and all of us the chiefs you built these palaces, we say thank you so much and we further request that even our friends where you have not built anything may you consider them too as they complain wanting the palaces too. I am glad that the palace which started in 2015 to this year 2019 has come to its completion,” said chieftainess Nyanje
And Eastern province deputy permanent secretary Josphat Lombe told the minister that the government was working hand in hand with traditional leaders in ensuring that the government agenda moves forward.
“I want to assure you minister that government in Eastern Province, through the leadership of provincial minister Makebi Zulu and his permanent secretary Buleti nsemukila, work hand in hand with traditional leaders to ensure government programmes move forward. I am further glad to witness you handover the palace to her royal highness which our government built for her as this is the second one of its nature to ensure chiefs stay in good houses,” he stated
He expressed gladness that out of all the promises made by the Patriotic Front government, one of the promises was the construction of palaces in various chiefdoms.
He also assured people of Nyanje that the water problem at Nyanje Mission Hospital would be worked on.
He also promised to send relief food to the district before the end of September so that people can have food.
And in a vote of thanks, chieftainess Nyanje’s induna, Agrippa Banda, called on government to work on the Sinda – Nyanje road, which was in a deplorable state, which was affect most development programmes.