Councils should work closely with traditional leaders in order to foster development in rural areas, Chief Mumena of the Kaonde people in the newly created Kalumbila district has said.
Chief Mumema has also urged local authorities to deliver to people’s expectations if they were to attract public sympathy and win people’s confidence.
He said there is need to create a rapport between chiefs and councils because both institutions serve one purpose of delivering services to the people.
“The council and us traditional leaders serve the same purpose of delivering services to our people so we must engage each other because if we don’t do that it is the people to suffer,” he said.
The traditional leader was speaking when councillors and management staff from Chongwe district council led by council chairman Kennedy Matabula who are on a study tour of the Solwezi Municipal Council paid a courtesy call on him at his palace.
Chief Mumena also expressed concern that Chongwe is developing at a slow pace despite having abundant land that could be used for developmental infrastructure.
He also cautioned councils not to allow investors to put up investments on their own terms but give them guidelines that will benefit the local people.
Chief Mumena said councils should desist from the temptation of asking land from chiefs to give out to investors because of the revenue they collect to disadvantage the local people but put the interests of people first before issuing land to investors.
He has since called on councillors to partner with investors operating in their respective areas to come up with poverty eradication strategies to help the local people.
And Mr Matabula said the councillors decided to pay a courtesy call on Chief Mumena to learn how the traditional leader was administering land in his chiefdom.
Mr Matabula said Chongwe district council had been facing challenges to get land from the chiefs in the area for development purposes.
He however said the study tour was an eye-opener to the local authority and a good starting point on how to approach the chief whenever they want land for development.
“First of all I want to withdraw my earlier statement that our chief has been difficult in releasing land to the council for development but I want to acknowledge that we have been using a wrong approach,” he said.