Mbundas seek chiefs status interpretation

Mbunda Royal Establishment has written to the office of the Attorney General requesting for interpretation and information on the actualization of Article 174 of part xii of the  Chieftaincy and House of Chiefs Act.

“Article 174 of part xii states that the institution of chieftaincy and traditional institutions are guaranteed and shall exist in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions of the people to whom they apply.

“Parliament shall not enact legislation which confers on a person or authority the right to recognize or withdraw the recognition of a chief; or derogates from the honour and dignity of the institution of chieftaincy.”

Mbunda Royal Establishment representative Kennedy Liale said while the Government was commended for enacting the amended Constitution into law; it would be prudent that the office of the Attorney General availed them in writing the interpretation of the Article 174 of Part XII on Chieftaincy and House of Chiefs.

He said chiefs were finding it difficult in discharging their duties, especially in Western Province because of lack of interpretation of Article 174.

“His Excellency the President Mr. Edgar Lungu said according to the amended Constitution both the Government and the President no longer have power to recognize or withdraw the recognition of chiefs.

“We would therefore appreciate information on the process of actualization of the provisions of the said Article 174 of Part XII and what becomes of the current status quo of chiefs that were gazetted under the previous Constitution,” the letter read in part.

Mr Liale was of the view that other chiefs appearing on the 1958 map of chiefdoms were not privileged to be gazetted due to various factors among them the archaic Chiefs Act Section 3 (2) (b) which provided for the Litunga of the Lozi’s hand in the recognition of all chiefs in Western Province in total disregard of the diversity in their cultural and traditional values.

The Mbunda establishment also wanted the Attorney General to affirm whether what Article 174 of Part XII of the amended Constitution referred to as traditional institutions constituted the royal establishments such as the Soli Royal Establishment for the Soli speaking people, Mbunda Royal Establishment for the Mbunda speaking people, Barotse Royal Establishment for the Lozi speaking people, Bemba Royal Establishment for the Bemba speaking people and so on or otherwise refers to something else.

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