‘We will not intervene in chiefs’ selection’ – Mwaliteta

Chief Mutondo makes his 2011 Kazanga ceremonial entry

GOVERNMENT will not intervene in the selection of chiefs but will ensure that the right procedures of ascending to the throne are followed.
And Government  has assured people of Luano in Central Province that their district is part of the country’s development agenda.

Central Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta said on Saturday before Senior Chief Mboroma installed 29-year-old Boyd Chomba as Chief Chikupili of the Swaka people of Luano district that selection of traditional leaders is not the responsibility of Government but a responsibility of royal families..
Mr Chomba succeeds Joseph Chitembo who was on the throne for 56 years.
“Government can’t interfere in the selection process. Our role is to ensure that selection of chiefs is done in a transparent manner,” Mr Mwaliteta said.
In a speech read by Central Province acting permanent secretary Ronald Sinyangwe, Mr Mwaliteta said Government desires to see smooth transition and not disputes during periods of succession in chiefdoms.
Mr Mwaliteta commended the Chikupili Royal Establishment for the smooth transition and peace that prevailed in the chiefdom as efforts to install a new chief were being made.
He appealed to Lala and Swaka chiefdoms in Luano, Mkushi, Kapiri Mposhi, Chitambo and Serenje districts to guard against succession wrangles.
“Chikupili chiefdom, I must commend you for the unity that existed during the time of mourning and during the transition as you have been waiting for the new chief to be put on the throne,” the minister said
Mr Mwaliteta told the excited gathering at Chikupili Secondary School that President Sata on February 25 this year, recognised Mr Chomba as Chief Chikupili of the Swaka people.
He urged Chief Chikupili to seek God’s guidance and advice from elder chiefs like Senior Chief Mboroma if he is to reign with wisdom and last longer on the throne.
He also urged Chief Chikupili to establish village committees that will spearhead development.
The minister also said Government recognises the important role that traditional leaders play in national development and that it will continue partnering with traditional leaders in fostering development.
And Senior Chief Mboroma said Mr Chomba was chosen by God and he was the rightful heir to the throne.
Senior Chief Mboroma implored Chief Chikupili to embrace all his subjects and other  people who have settled in his chiefdom.
He also implored people in Chikupili chiefdom to take care of their chiefs and support them in fostering unity in their area.
Chiefs Mulungwe, Chitina, Kanyesha, Chembe, Mukonchi and Kabinga witnessed the installation of Chief Chikupili.
And Mr Sinyangwe said Government is aware of the problems people are experiencing in the new district and it is attending to them.
Mr Sinyangwe, who was responding to concerns of the Chikupili Royal Establishment on the need for good roads, provision of water, establishment of deep tanks and lack of teachers, said Government is working around the clock to deliver to the people of Luano district.
Mr Sinyangwe said that Government has procured drilling rigs to improve provision of water to various parts of Zambia.
“With regard to the shortage of teachers, this matter is being taken care of especially in new districts such as Luano, and the same goes for veterinary services,” he said.
On roads, Mr Sinyangwe said Government has initiated road projects and one road linking Mkushi, Luna, Kapiri Mposhi and Kobe will be tarred next year under the Link Zambia 8000 project.
He explained that this year, Government is carrying out feasibility studies on the road while feeder roads will soon be worked on this year when the Rural Roads Unit will be in Luano district.
He also said Government will increase the allocation of farm inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
Mr Sinyangwe  also directed Luano district commissioner Christopher Chibuye to ensure that Youth Empowerment Fund forms are distributed to the youth in the district so that youths in the area can also access the funds.
Earlier, Chikupili Royal Establishment chairman Francis Kabula complained about lack of water in many villages and that there is need for Government to come to the aid of the people.
Mr Kabula said the youths in Chikupili chiefdom should not be left out from programmes aimed at economically empowering them.

Zambia Daily Mail