President Hakainde Hichilema says his administration is determined to work with the traditional leadership to safeguard peace and unity.
Speaking when he graced the Bene Mukuni Traditional Ceremony at Simukale Shrine Grounds in Livingstone, President Hichilema assured that his administration will operate in partnership with all traditional leaders throughout the country.
He added that traditional ceremonies will be a vessel of stability, restoration of the rule of law and advance the freedoms of people.
“These ceremonies will receive equitable attention from government without segregation or marginalisation, but with clarity on inclusion and fairness,” President assured the audience.
The Head of State said his administration is on a continuous developmental trajectory through implementation of programmes that benefit all Zambians .
Among these includes the free education policies and ensuring that all loopholes in the disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) are addressed to ease access for the intended beneficiaries.
“ Government is committed to give citizens as opposed to taking from them which he coined as corruption, that hampers on development, “ he said.
The President urged traditional rulers in the country to join the fight against negative vices such as gender based violence, child marriages, and corruption.
The President condemned Child marriages and the withdrawal of girls from school as a girl child too needs to be empowered with an education.
He added that his administration will also work with traditional leaders to promote tourism to increase employment and other added values in the sector.
Government further wants to work with the house of chiefs to enhance orderliness in the issue of successions wrangles to bring sanity in traditional matters.
This came to light when Bene Mukuni Traditional Ceremony Director General Jonas Shakafuswa implored government to avoid taking position on traditional wrangles.
Mr. Shakafuswa observed that the courts of law are quick to take on issues of land and succession wrangles which should be handled within the jurisdiction of a chiefdom.
He said the traditional wrangles have led to lengthy wars which he said has sent affected chiefdoms without chiefs.
“It is worrying to observe that courts of law are quick to take position of Traditional succession disputes but slow to dispose such matters,” Mr. Shakafuswa stated.
He implored government to address the matter which has turned to be an energy of traditional leadership.
Mr. Shakafuswa, however, applauded Mr Hichilema for attending the ceremony saying that the traditional leadership will support his administration which is focused on developing the welfare of all Zambians and restoring unity.
Meanwhile, Minister of local Government and Rural Development Garry Nkombo says succession disputes is beyond government’s jurisdiction but matters of a clan in a particular chiefdom.
Mr. Nkombo explains that this topical issue has to be handled within chiefdoms because customs lie within the clan who knows the next in line of heritage.
The Minister urged chiefdoms with succession disputes to remove their matters from court and follow clan guidelines adding that this was the reason for enhancing decentralisation so that certain issues are dealt with at local level.
And Southern Province Minister Cornelius Mweetwa said his administration continues to work with traditional rulers in the area to market tourism.