President Edgar Lungu has reaffirmed Government‘s desire towards ensuring traditional leaders in the country have access to decent housing by upgrading palaces in various chiefdoms.
The President said Government respected traditional leaders because they were custodians of culture and traditions and had power to unite the country through dialogue.
Speaking to traditional leaders that included Chieftainess Choongo and Chieftainess Mwenda shortly before the handing over of the newly constructed modern palace in Monze District on Wednesday, President Lungu said he believed that traditional leaders had a role to play especially advising Government on how to effectively carry out development programmes in rural areas.
“Your royal highness, I thank you more sincerely for welcoming us here. My task is simply to show solidarity to the traditional leaders as I have always said it is you our mothers and fathers who represent Government. It is you who can tell us that here there is a problem of early marriages. It’s you who can tell us that there are challenges here and so if you tell us things are getting on well we tend to be very happy,” said the President.
The Head of State said elected leader come and go but institutions of traditional leadership would always remain.
“Elected leaders like me and my colleague here (Nathaniel Mubukwanu Southern Province Minister) come and go but you are always there.
Your institution is manned by you because from inception we have all reposed our trust in our chiefs and for that reason I find it a must that I should visit at least to pay respect to the royal highness. Now we have started preparing fertilizers, seed and all those, but it’s only you who can tell us if our farmers are ready for the next farming season,” President Lungu said.
He said he would continue to consult traditional leaders and all stakeholders on various issues affecting the nation.
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu has appealed to traditional leaders to help in maintaining peace as the country heads for the polls on August 11, 2016.
He said he was receiving very disturbing stories from Southern Province and Lusaka district about political violence, even reports of killings in some parts of the country.
“The stories I am getting from Southern Province and Lusaka district are worrying. People are doing all sorts of things, injuring each other and we have lost three lives. One young man in Kasama was killed. He was UPND, but left UPND and joined PF. The following day, he was killed.