—-Gender and Child Development Deputy Minister, Josephine Limata, says government places a lot of importance to the role of chiefs in the governance of the country.
Ms Limata also says government has a lot of respect for chiefs and it was for this reason that president Michael Sata saw it fit to give chiefs their own ministry, the first of its kind in Zambia.
Ms Limata also assures that government will continue working with traditional leaders to address the many challenges that people in rural areas were facing like hospitals, schools, and electricity.
The Meputy Minister was speaking in Luangwa today when she paid a courtesy call on chief Mphuka of the Chikunda people.
Ms Limata is in Luangwa district to inspect works of women clubs and is accompanied by senior government officials from her ministry.
She encouraged chiefs to work with government to stop such vices as early marriages and teenage pregnancies, saying these derail the empowerment of women.
And chief Mphuka of the Chikunda people of Luangwa has called on government to monitor disbursement of empowerment funds to ensure that the funds are distributed equally.
Chief Mphuka said women empowerment funds have in the past been given to the same women groups most of whom misappropriated the money.
The chief stated that he would support women projects in his area as doing so would go a long way in improving the living standards of people.
Chief Mphuka also pledged to support the PF government as it seeks to development rural areas especially Luangwa.