——Mpulungu Member of Parliament, Freedom Sikazwe, has called on Chiefs in the area to be firm in discharging their functions in their respective chiefdoms.
Mr Sikazwe was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Chief Chinakila of the Lungu people of Mpulungu at his palace today.
The visit of Mr Sikazwe followed reports that some of subjects had dragged Chief Chinakila to court accusing him of having allowed a witch finder to cleanse his chiefdom after several complaints of witchcraft-related activities by his subjects.
Recounting the ordeal, Chief Chinakila said last month, he invited a witch finder in response to calls from some of his subjects who had complained of an ‘influx’ of wizards and the rampant practice of witchcraft-related activities in his chiefdom.
He, however, acknowledged that the decision was taken badly by some of his subjects who felt disgruntled and had since turned against his leadership.
‘’These people have been going round the village preaching that I was a bad element unfit to lead my people…..They have even dragged me to court saying I must explain why we allowed a witch doctor to come and sweep the villages,’’ Chief Chinakila told Mr Sikazwe.
But Mr Sikazwe told Chief Chinakila that chieftaincy was a paramount institution, adding that chiefs were the eyes of government in areas where the presence of government was not felt.
He said President Michael Sata equally understood the important roles played by the traditional leadership and had even gone a step further by creating the Ministry of Chief Affairs.
Mr Sikazwe said it was saddening and embarrassing to hear that a subject had taken the chief to court when he was merely carrying out his duties that he thought were in the best interest of his subjects.
‘’You must be firm and show leadership in discharging your duties otherwise some people might take advantage of your weaknesses and could even dethrone you. Because even as government we cannot tolerate such kind of indiscipline from just one individual who is even your subject,’’ he said.
He advised chief Chinakila to utilize his powers as chief and banish trouble makers and anarchists from his chiefdom.
Mr Sikazwe also added that government was committed to developing the road infrastructure that led to the chief’s palace.
He said the development would also open up Chinakila area for investment in mining and agricultural activities, the sectors whose growth had been hampered due to the poor road network despite their potential.