President Hakainde Hichilema has asked traditional leaders to take keen interest in the utilisation of Constituency Development Funds across the country.
The President has said close collaboration between government and traditional leaders is key if the utilisation of CDF is to be successful.
The President says it is the desire of Government that people in the rural areas receive quality services like the people in urban areas, but noted that this can only be achieved through the prudent use of public funds like CDF.
The President said this yesterday in a speech read on his behalf by Minister of Water Development and Sanitation Mike Mposha This was during the celebration of the Kunda-Malaila traditional ceremony of the Kunda people in Mambwe district of the Eastern province.
The Head of State told the traditional rulers and hundreds of people attending the ceremony that the reason resources were being taken close to the people was to allow the general citizenry determine their own development direction hence the need for all stakeholders, including traditional leadership to work together and realise the much-needed development.
“I also want to remind you of governments commitment to transform the lives of the people, by giving preference to a wide range of issues ranging from economic to health, evidenced by the mass recruitment of health and education personnel,” he said.
President Hichilema also assured the Government’s commitment to continue supporting traditional ceremonies.
“Traditional ceremonies are important as they form part of our identity, and constantly remind us to always respect for mankind. They remain an integral part of our cultural heritage and this is why the Government has continued supporting these ceremonies,” he said.
And the President has congratulated Chief Malama of the Kunda people in Mambwe District for clocking 50 years on the throne.
“I want to congratulate his royal highness, Chief Malama for the golden jubilee on the throne. I wish you a successful leadership,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senior Chief Nsefu commended the Government for taking a progressive stance on development.
The Senior Chief said the Government has shown its commitment to ensure vulnerable groups are empowered with means to add value to their lives, citing initiatives like free education and entrepreneurship empowerment programmes as examples.
The traditional leader said this in a speech read on his behalf by Millan Njobvu, a trustee of the Malambo Culture Association.
He also appealed to the citizens to take advantage of the enabling environment to improve their livelihoods.
“The stance by the Government to empower people has Ignited the entrepreneurship skills of citizens, a situation that will improve the livelihood of many,” he said.
He further counselled political leaders to always listen to the concerns of the general citizenry in order to better serve the masses.
He said, as traditional leaders, they will always be available to offer guidance and work on non-political party lines for the benefit of the nation.
And the Senior Chief called on the Government to regulate the way hunting licenses are issued so that local people are able to benefit from the natural resources in the area.
“The issuance of hunting licenses does not favour the locals, and this needs to change. Locals need to be treated better, unlike being subjected to the same conditions as outsiders,” the Senior Chief said.
Responding to this concern, Eastern Province Minister Peter Phiri assured the traditional leader that his concern will be forwarded to the President.