—-President Michael Sata has appealed to royal families in the country to exercise wisdom in the selection of a chief whenever the incumbent dies in order to avoid succession wrangles.
President Sata noted that succession wrangles impact negatively in the development of a country as more time and resources are spent on conflict-resolution rather than on developmental issues.
The Head of State said this in a speech read on his behalf by Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Emmanuel Chenda, during the burial of Chief Chilyabafu of the Ila people of Itezhi Tezhi district in Central Province today.
The President said it is regrettable that the country has, over the years, witnessed an increase in succession wrangles in chiefdoms upon the death of a chief.
President Sata said it was the appeal and prayer of Government that the Chilyabafu Royal Family will exercise wisdom in the selection of a successor to the Chilyabafu throne.
Chief Chilyabafu, 66, died on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) after succumbing to cancer which he battled for a year.
And President Sata has described the death of the traditional leader as a big loss not only to the Royal Family but the country as a whole.
He said the Government remains indebted to Chief Chilyabafu’s wisdom, guidance and contributions he made to the enhancement of Zambia’s tradition and customs.
President Sata said as a member of the House of Chiefs between 2006 and 2009, the late chief was instrumental in guiding important deliberations of the House of Chiefs.
He said the Patriotic Front Government recognises the important role traditional leaders play in the governance system of the country and considers them as co-partners, adding that that was why his Government created the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to, among other things, formulate policies, programmes and strategies for the wellbeing of traditional leaders.
President Sata further stated that Government is committed to uplifting rural livelihoods and that traditional leaders were key stakeholders in that process.
He said through this process, certain functions, responsibilities and resources are transferred from the Central government to local authorities in order to strike a balance between claims of the periphery and the demands of the centre.
Meanwhile, family representative of Chief Chilyabafu, Senior Headman Shimuza, thanked Government for the financial and logistical support it rendered to the bereaved family during the illness, funeral and burial of the late chief.
Headman Shimuza said the people of Banamwaze area are highly indebted to Government for the kindness it has shown to the Chilyabafu chiefdom.
He said this has gone to show that the Patriotic Front Government is really committed to helping people that are faced with calamities.
The late Chief Chilyabafu, whose name wasKeith Namaso, ascended to the Chilyabafu throne in 1999 and has ruled over the people of Banamwaze area in Itezhi Tezhi District for over 23 years.
The Late Chief has left behind a wife, 10 children and 24 grandchildren.