–Senior Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukamambo II yesterday led hundreds of mourners, among them government officials and traditional leaders, who braved heavy rains to witness the traditional burial of Chief Mpanshya Kalubangwe II of the Soli-speaking people of Rufunsa District in Lusaka Province.
And Senior Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukamambo II of the Soli people of Lusaka Province has warned that succession wrangles, if not amicably resolved, have the potential of retarding national development.
Meanwhile, Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary, Wamunyima Muwana, reaffirmed government’s commitment to working closely with traditional leaders in order to foster peace and national development.
Senior Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukamambo II, who is also House of Chiefs chairperson, said the current succession wrangles in Lusaka province are a great source of concern to both the government and traditional leadership.
The traditional leader made the observation during the burial of Chief Mpanshya Kalubangwe II, 56, of the Soli people in Rufunsa district in Lusaka Province.
Senior Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukamambo II said most of the succession wrangles were caused by greediness and fusion of “alien” cultural practices by some royal family members who have lost their traditional customs and beliefs.
“I will not hesitate to intervene in case of any succession dispute and will ensure that sanity returns to the chiefdom,” she warned.
She promised to facilitate a smooth transition period until a new chief takes over and implored the royal family members and Electoral College to agree on a clear roadmap of choosing a suitable replacement.
“My earnest appeal to the Bene Bukalya Royal Establishment, close relatives and Electoral College is to avail me a clear roadmap that should be followed strictly”, she appealed.
And speaking at the same event, Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary, Wamunyima Muwana, said traditional leaders play a critical role in national development.
Mr Muwana explained that it was for this reason that late president Michael Sata created the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to foster peace and development in their various chiefdoms.
He said government was greatly saddened with the demise of the traditional leader who was instrumental in the allocation of land to government to setup the district administration and township following its declaration as a district in August, 2012, by President Sata.
“The multitudes here who have braved the heavy rains are a clear testimony of the love and support the late chief enjoyed among his subjects,” he noted.
Mr Muwana said government will continue with ongoing developmental projects despite the demise of the chief in order to better the welfare of his subjects.
Earlier, Bishop John Mambo said the late chief will be remembered for championing the development of the area.
Bishop Mambo said when his Foundation approached the late chief for a piece of land where Nyamphande Orphanage and Community School is constructed, Chief Mpanshya Kalubangwe II cautioned him against using the orphanage for personal again.
Chief Mpanshya Kalubangwe II, 56, died a fortnight ago in Rufunsa district after having served his subjects for 13 years and was buried at the Bukalya Royal Shrine, the burial ground for chiefs.
The Bene Bukalya Royal family members, Shrine keepers also known as “BASHIKULU”, under the strict guidance of Senior Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukamambo II of Lusaka Province, will meet to agree on the mourning period before a new chief is selected.
Before burial, the remains of the Chief Mpanshya Kalubangwe II lay in state at the Bene Bukalya Royal Palace until the traditional burial was conducted the next day as part of the Soli cultural burial rites.
Senior Chief Mburuma of the Nsenga-Luzi and Chief Mphuka of the Chikunda speaking people of Luangwa District, Chieftainess Shikabeta of Rufunsa District, Chief Chembe of the Lala speaking people of Luano District and other traditional leaders attended the burial.
PF Feira Member of Parliament, Patrick Ngoma, District Commissioners in Lusaka Province and other senior government were also present.