Youth, Sport and Child Development Minister Kenneth Chipungu said yesterday that Luapula has a high prevalence of succession wrangles, which in some cases have taken long to resolve.
Mr. Chipungu said to minimize the succession wrangles, chiefs should involve all members of the royal family in the preparation of family trees.
The minister said family trees that are prepared in advance will help minimize succession disputes at the time of succession in case a chief dies.
He said copies of the family trees once prepared must be circulated to the District, Province, Local Government Ministry and House of Chiefs.
Chipungu said this yesterday when he officiated at the installation ceremony of senior chief Kalasamukoso of the Kebende people in Samfya.
Mr. Chipungu however observed that some succession disputes were partly orchestrated by politicians and public workers who involved themselves in chiefs’ matters during succession periods.
He advised politicians and public service workers to refrain from involving themselves in chiefs’ succession matters.
Mr. Chipungu said the problem of succession disputes causes delay for government to recognise chiefs, some who are duly elected.
He said the Presidential Recognition of senior chief Kalasamukoso, who was installed yesterday, delayed for over two years because two other people who contested the election to choose the successor to the throne had petitioned the election.
Chief Mbulu throne on Chishi Island in Samfya has also remained vacant since 2003 because of a succession wrangle that has been dragging on.
He said senior chief Kalasamukoso was recognised by President Rupiah Banda on November 26, 2008 in accordance with the chiefs’ Act, CAP 479 under statutory instrument 112.
He said the Presidential recognition of Evaristo Pasha as senior chief Kalasamukoso demonstrates the confidence government has in him to provide good leadership.
Evaristo Pasha becomes the fifth heir to ascend to the senior chief Kalasamukoso throne. He was elected on May 13, 2006 following the death of his predecessor Mulela who died earlier that same year.
Mr Chipungu urged the new chief to uphold the traditional norms and culture of the area and work together with all his subjects including those who had opposed his election to develop the chiefdom.
He also pledged government’s unwavering support to newly installed senior chief Kalasmukoso of Samfya in his quest to develop the area and empower the people economically.
Mr. Chipungu said government will give the new chief total support aimed at enhancing development and bringing about socio-economic empowerment among the people in the area.
Meanwhile , Mr. Chipungu says government has no policy to create new chiefdoms in the Luapula Province and anywhere else in the country.
Mr. Chipungu said government has in the recent past received two submissions from Mansa and Nchelenge in Luapula province asking it to recognise two additional chiefs.
However, the minister said Luapula Province has got 39 chiefdoms recognised by government and there is no policy to create new ones.
He warned that it is a punishable offence under the chiefs Act chapter 479 section 12 for any person who is not a chief to purport to be one and discharge functions of the office of a chief.
He minister said government has observed growing conflict between chiefs and their sub chiefs because of insubordination by these sub chiefs.
He said government recognises only one chief per chiefdom and not a sub chief who is just appointed by a chief to assist in the administration of the area.