Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Professor Nkhandu Luo has reiterated government’s resolve to construct palaces in all the 10 provinces .
ZANIS reports that Prof Luo said the construction of Chiefs palaces was a government programme that is already in place adding that this was in an effort to improve the livelihoods of traditional leaders across the country.
She said this at a ground breaking ceremony of Senior Chief Kambombo’s palace in Chama district over the weekend.
The Minister stated that the best way to honour the legacy of the late President Michael Sata is to continue on his programme of completing the construction of three palaces in each province by the year 2016.
Meanwhile, Prof Luo said parents should ensure girl children are in school so that they also acquire education to enable them lead a meaningful life.
And responding to concerns from Senior Chief Kambombo earlier when she paid courtesy call on the chief, Prof. Luo stated that basic needs in communities such as water and sanitation were cardinal and that government attached great importance and that it would ensure every village has access.
Prof Luo also assured the Chief that the Chama/Kambombo road will be brought to the attention of Rural Road Unit (RRU) to work on because at national level the focus is on linking Matumbo/Chama road whose works were already in progress alongside a bridge to be constructed at Luangwa in Muchinga province.
And Prof Luo stated that her Ministry will ensure that chiefdoms follow right procedures before chiefs are gazetted.
She was referring to Chief Lundu’s chiefdom which is currently facing challenges as two brothers were fighting over the throne while one of them had taken the issue to court.
“Although the issues are to be decided traditionally there is need to involve relevant government institutions so that they observe the selection process and send reports to the Ministry before a chief is gazzetted,” she added.
Prof Luo however said she could not comment further because the matter was before the courts but emphasized that procedure has to be followed when selecting a chief.
The traditional leader who spoke through a representative Baidon Chipundu, earlier, raised several concerns with regard to lack of water and the bad state of the Chama/Kambombo road .
The chief also complained of the delay in installing Chief Lundu despite him recommending Boniface Chisupa.
And when she called on Paramount chief Mpezeni at his Ependukeni Palace In Chipata district in Eastern Province, Prof. Luo stressed that government will fulfill the promise it made to the nation of reconstructing all palaces for chiefs.
She stated that each reconstructed palace will have a museum as a new feature to display the culture and way of life of that chiefdome.
“Another new feature to the palaces will be the meeting rooms which chiefs will use for meetings with their indunas and to host visitors”, she said.
She further added that Chief Mpezeni and Chief Gawa Undi will be among the first beneficiaries from the program.
And Senior paramount chief Mpezeni expressed joy with Governments efforts and concern for the welfare of the chiefs.
His Royal Highness called for reconciliation among political party leaders as the country takes to the polls on 20th January 2015.
He also called on the media to preach and write about peace as the country faces another hurdle in governance.
And Paramount Chief Mpezeni has invited PF President Edgar Lungu to be the guest of honor at his wedding ceremony on January 1, 2015 .