Chief Kashiba of the Lunda people of Mwense District in Luapula Province has called on government to review the Kasomeno-Mwenda road agreement. Chief Kashiba said it was important that the agreements are reviewed to ensure that they benefit the Zambian people and the country at large.
He said chiefs, in whose chiefdoms the road will pass, are concerned that the agreement has not been made available to them.
He said the traditional leaders have little information about the Kasomenoa-Mwenda road agreement.
ZANIS reports that the chief said this when Luapula Province Minister Derrick Chilundika called on him at his palace today.
Chief Kashiba said the traditional leaders are aware of the huge benefits that the road will bring about to the country but that there is need for the local people to benefit too.
“We know that the road will be important for trade. There is however need to look at the welfare of the local people whose areas lie where the road passes, our people are making money from the small border currently operational, we need to know how they will benefit once the bigger border is opened,” he said.
And chief Kashiba is concerned that the department of chiefs has been taken to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The traditional leader said chiefs faced a number of challenges at the Ministry of Local Government before and they would not want to go through similar challenges again.
“Chiefs are important in the governance system. This is why even in the colonial governance system, chiefs were recognised. We hope we will not face similar challenges we faced before in that ministry because it will be difficult for us to operate,” he observed.
Meanwhile, Luapula Province Minister Derrick Chilundika has assured chiefs that moving the department of chiefs to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is aimed at enhancing development in rural areas.
Mr. Chilundika said under the decentralisation programme, more resources will be allocated to the district level at councils.
He said chiefs, who are part of councils, will benefit too.
“Your Royal Highness, I have heard your concerns and will ensure that they are looked into. The taking of the chiefs department to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development was not meant to punish chiefs no, because under the decentralisation programme, more resources will be taken to councils where chiefs are part of,” Mr. Chilundika said.
The Luapula Province Minister is on tour of visiting chiefs in the northern part of the province.