GOVERNMENT has been urged to recognize chiefs according to the provisions of the Constitution in Article 127 (1) which establishes the institution of Chiefs to avoid some of the wrangles, says the Mbunda Royal Establishment spokesperson Kennedy Mubanga.
Mr Mubanga said, “Article 127 (1) of the Republican Constitution states, ‘Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Institution of Chief shall exist in any area of Zambia in accordance with the culture, customs and tradition or wishes and aspirations of the people to whom it applies.’
He said failure to abide by Article 127 (1) of the Zambian Constitution was a cause of tribal instability in Western Province and wrangles in some other chiefdoms.
“For instance in Kaoma there are three gazetted chiefs two of whom are Nkoya, Chiefs Mutondo and Kahare while the other chief is a Lozi Chief Amukena who is considered as district chief purportedly presiding over all the other non-Lozi chiefs contrary to constitutional provisions of Article 127 (1) of the Republican Constitution and principles of natural justice,” Mr Mubanga said.
He claimed the situation had contributed to differences which needed to be addressed to restore peace and unity in the chiefdoms.
Mr Mubanga said all the chiefs should be addressed with reference to the particular tribe they presided over and not as was the case now in Western Province.
“The Litunga of the Lozi people in Western Province also conducts himself as though he is divinely mandated to preside over both Lozi and non-Lozi populations contrary to the provisions of the Constitution that establishes the institution of chief, which is not fair,” he said.
Mr Mubanga reminded the Government and all other stakeholders that chieftaincy arose from a group of people sharing culture, customs, tradition and most importantly language for the purpose of preserving their respective culture, customs, tradition and language.
He said any chief purporting to preside over another tribe other than his or hers was old-fashioned and therefore a recipe for divisions.