HOUSE OF CHIEFS CAUTIONS TRADITIONAL LEADERS
The House of Chiefs has expressed concern with the growing tendency of Traditional Leaders not residing within their Chiefdoms as some opt to live in towns.
House of Chiefs Chairperson, His Royal Highness Dr. Chief Chisunka, stated that the gesture to reside outside Chiefdoms leaves a leadership vacuum, prompting some individuals to take advantage of the absenteeism of the Chief to create instability for the Chieftaincy.
His Royal Highness stressed that traditional leaders should not neglect their obligation by residing outside their chiefdoms as doing so contributes to the rising cases of wrangles and disorderly behavior in some chiefdoms.
Chieftaincy, like any other institution, is governed by rules and regulations. Traditionally, these rules and regulations dictate that a Chief must reside within his/her Chiefdom, His Royal Highness said.
Chapter 287 of the Laws of Zambia (The Chiefs Act) Section 11 (1), provides for the functions of a Chief, among others, the preservation of public peace in the Chiefdom.
His Royal Highness, Dr. Chief Chisunka, further advised that traditional leaders need to reside within the chiefdom to perform the functions of Chieftaincy more effectively. “A Chief must provide leadership to his or her people on a daily basis. He or she is a link between Government and other partners providing services to the subjects,” he stated.
His Royal Highness, Dr. Chief Chisunka, also advised that traditional leaders should avoid leaving the Chiefly leadership to royal establishments and committees. “Chiefs must interface in person between Government officials, the people, and other stakeholders to avoid misrepresentation,” he stated.
He said traditional leaders must be available in the chiefdoms to monitor, supervise, and provide proper guidance to their subjects effectively because chieftaincy is not transferable and does not operate on delegation.
Meanwhile, His Royal Highness, Dr. Chief Chisunka, commended the Government for embarking on a number of developmental projects, among them the construction of Chiefs palaces, schools, and health facilities to improve the livelihoods of citizens.
He stressed that the obligation now remains with all traditional leaders to actualize the Governments vision by residing within Chiefdoms at the designated palaces in order to help implement developmental projects.
He said the participation of traditional leaders in Government-developmental programmes, such as the Constituency Development Fund, Citizen Economic Empowerment Fund, and other donor projects, can be effective when a Chief is available within the Chiefdom.
During its recent session, the House of Chiefs tabled a motion urging all traditional leaders to reside in chiefdoms. The House resolved that all Chiefs residing outside their palaces should relocate in line with applicable traditions and culture.
(Original copy signed)
Chila Namaiko (Mr)
Public Relations Officer
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development