PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has appealed to traditional leaders in the country to help discard retrogressive traditional practices.
President Lungu said as Zambia embraces good cultural practices, there was need to discard traditional practices that did not add value to the well-being of the people.
“Our traditional leaders across the country should take the lead in fighting risky traditional practices such as inheritance of widows, sexual cleansing, early childhood marriage and Gender Based Violence (GBV),” Mr Lungu said.
The President said this during the Likumbi Lya Mize traditional ceremony of the Luvale people held in Zambezi West yesterday.
He said efforts being made by various stakeholders on prevention of HIV and AIDS, promotion of girl child education and restoration of harmony and unity in society could only be attained if bad traditional practices were discarded.
He appealed to men to be part of this reformation and also spoke firmly against tribalism appealing to Zambians to coexist “just like our forefathers did”.
“My Government shall not tolerate acts of sectionalism and violence particularly those which are ethnically or politically motivated because we are a country anchored on the “One Zambia, One Nation slogan ,’’ he said.
He appealed to traditional leaders to be ambassadors in promoting peace and unity among the people.
The President also reaffirmed his directive to line ministries and other Government institutions to offer preferential treatment to qualified youth led enterprises in awarding contracts in public procurement process.
President Lungu recently launched a 2015 National Youth policy and action plan for youth empowerment and employment which might result in more than 5000 jobs for the youth by 2016.
The President also highlighted the number of developmental projects that Government was spearheading in the province such as construction of roads and other social facilities.
He also directed the Vice President’s office to send officials to Zambezi West to conduct a comprehensive assessment of all the bridges that require immediate attention to avert threat to the people in the area.
Speaking earlier, President Lungu said he wants to be remembered as a politician who keeps his promises.
“This is an occasion of joy, love and expression of unity. I want to walk the talk, I want to be a politician who would be remembered for delivering on my promise,” Mr Lungu said.
And senior Chief Mumena the Kaonde people of Solwezi said the people of North Western province were happy that President Lungu had fulfilled the promise to attend the ceremony.
Chief Mumena added that they were happy with the number of visits President Lungu had made to the province since he ascended to Presidency.
He said traditional ceremonies helped to bring people from various places together and demonstrated tranquillity.
Chief Mumena said it was high time traditional ceremonies were regarded as an economic activity for the districts.