-Government has released 20Million Kwacha to the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to pay Chiefs and their Retainers.
Minister of Chiefs and Traditional affairs, Lawrence Sichalwe, says the subsidies and wages were for four unfunded months in the period between 2016 and 2019.
ZANIS reports that Mr Sichalwe disclosed this during a media briefing in Lusaka today, adding that the funds were released to the Ministry after approval of the supplementary budget by parliament in the current session.
“In this regard, my ministry has engaged the respective royal establishments through the relevant provincial administration to ensure necessary documents are submitted to facilitate payments’’, said Mr Sichalwe.
Mr Sichalwe explained that the Ministry has paid outstanding claims amounting to over 1.4 Million kwacha to Chief’s Retainers for various cases.
“These are travel benefits, leave, long service bonus and terminal leave benefits to Retainers who have been retired, dismissed or terminated from their employment in all the ten provinces of the country, Mr Sichalwe stated.
Mr Sichalwe who is also Chawama Law Maker, has however, appealed to traditional leaders to be non-partisan ahead of the August 12, 2021, general elections.
“Chiefs are responsible for promoting unity among subjects as opposed to being biased towards political party interests,” Mr Sichalwe advised.
He stressed that if traditional leaders take a partisan stance, they may threaten the peace among their subjects in their respective chiefdoms.
“For instance if a Chief takes a partisan position, this means that he will compromise the reconciliation process over his subjects who belong to different political parties in his chiefdom,” he lamented.
The Minister added that traditional rulers must not be tempted to engage in politics, but must embrace all courtesy calls due to them.
“They will certainly receive various political leaders in their chiefdoms as they try to sell their parties to citizens,” he said.