Government says it is working closely with traditional leaders in the country to rebrand traditional ceremonies in order to promote tourism, trade and industry.
Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo said a properly organized and rebranded traditional event can impact positively on the country’s development agenda.
Prof Luo said the Patriotic Front government is looking at the promotion of tradition and culture for sustainable development.
She said this in an interview with ZANIS yesterday on the sidelines of the Kazanga Kabompo traditional ceremony of the Nkoya people of Kabompo district in North Western province.
Prof Luo said it is government’s hope that in future local people will take the lead in organizing ceremonies so that they can showcase some of the products they can engage in trade and industry.
She said it is regrettable that traditional ceremonies are only synonymous with singing and dancing when they provide a platform for local people to engage in economic ventures that can help them better their lives.
And the Chief and Traditional Affairs Minister said government has no immediate plans to gazette chiefs that were degazetted by the colonialists because of financial constraints.
Professor Luo disclosed that a number of chiefs have approached her ministry to consider gazetting them but that the matter has financial implications.
She said there are currently 288 chiefs who are being paid allowances of about four thousand KR 4, 000 besides providing them with transport and constructing palaces for them.
And Kabompo West area Member of Parliament Abrose Lufuma who officiated at the event appealed to government to look for serious investors who can explore the vast mineral resources that North Western province is endowed with.
Mr Lufuma said the area has a lot of mineral resources such as copper, oil among other minerals but that these minerals have remained unexploited because of lack of investment in the area.
The Kabombo West Parliamentarian also thanked government for the support rendered to the organizing committee in hosting the ceremony.
Mr Lufuma also thanked President Michael Sata for creating Manyinga district and urged the president to create many more districts in North Western province in order to foster development in the area.
He also cautioned people in the area to desist from engaging in social activities that may expose them to the dangers of HIV/AIDS.
Meanwhile, Patron of Kazanga Kabompo traditional ceremony Crispin Shumina disclosed that this year’s ceremony was hosted in honour of American talk show host Oprah Winfrey whose latest DNA test traced her ancestry to the Nkoya people of Kabompo district.
Mr Shumina appealed to Government to facilitate the invitation of Ms Winfrey to Zambia so she can meet her relatives in Kabompo district.