The Chief’s and Traditional Affairs department in the Eastern Province has embarked on a sensitization campaign of village headmen to acquaint them with preparations in readiness for construction of Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s palace.
ZANIS reports that addressing a meeting at Chief Mpezeni’s palace were over 100 village headmen out of 165 were in attendance, Provincial Chiefs Affairs Officer Penias Kakoma said the project is labour based which demands community contribution of upfront materials.
Mr Kakoma said the construction works will start next week depending on how quick the villagers will clear the land where the palace will be built and also meet the contribution of 20 t0 30 percent upfront materials for the project.
Mr Kakoma noted that government was in a hurry to ensure the works start adding that the money for construction was released last year but the project delayed due to unforseen circumstances.
He stated that two committees will be formed with one to be headed by the Provincial Permanent Secretary and the other at district level to be chaired by the Senior Induna of the Paramount chief to ensure works go on smoothly.
Mr Kakoma said the contract was given to Nawela General Dealers, a Chipata based Company which will move on site immediately mobilization of resources are taken to site.
“The demand for upfront materials is meant for you to have a sense of ownership and also since time in memorial subjects used to take care of their chief’s,” Mr Kakoma added.
And Mugeme Jere, the Paramount Chief’s Advisor, urged government to engage communities once such big projects are still at the initial stage.
Mr Jere said communities cannot fail to provide upfront materials but was concerned that construction of palaces demanded for the communities to provide material and yet houses for presidents who are elected by the people are built on full contract once they leave office.
He however noted that the move was welcome and mobilization of resources will commence in villages as the headmen will brief the villagers of what is expected of them.
And Headman Maulawo stated that the construction of the Paramount Chief’s palace by government had come at a right time because the current one was in a deplorable state.