Saturday, June 22, 2024

Chiefdom boundary wrangles barrier to development-PS


Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Nicholas Phiri, says government is concerned with the negative impact which chiefdom boundary wrangles have had on development.

Mr Phiri said the continued chiefdom boundary wrangles are a real impediment to national development hence addressing them in real time will be a plus to the the country.

He said to help resolve the matter, government thought it wise to re-produce the 1958 chiefdom boundary map.

He said no alterations have been made to the maps but most physical features were made visible.

Mr Phiri was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary, Augustine Kasongo, who is also worried about the increased succession wrangles in the region.

“The way this working was done was not by any alterations of the boundaries made by the colonial government in 1958. The working was by way of introducing features that will make it easier for government and traditional leaders to identify where their boundaries are,” he explained.

He said physical features such as mountains, rivers, roads, streams and other features were enhanced on the maps to make them very visible.

Mr Phiri further said the 1958 map remains the official tool for government and traditional leaders to resolve chiefdom boundary wrangles.

He stated that to this effect, 1,400 maps have been reproduced, of which 700 have topographic features to ease interpretation whilst the other 700 are as they were captured in 1958.

Mr Phiri has since requested government officials to encourage traditional leaders to accept whatever outcome, adding that government has no mandate to re-demarcate chiefdoms.

And Copperbelt Permanent Secretary, August Kasongo, has called for speed resolution of the continued chiefdom wrangles which he said should be addressed effectively.

“To some extent, some of them are even committing criminal offences such as the hoisting of flags, making stamps and selling land. We will be very grateful that this matter is addressed effectively,” Mr Kasongo said.

And in responding to the Copperbelt Provincial Administration’s concern, Mr Phiri warned that those hoisting flags without receiving an insignia from government are committing an offense and risk being prosecuted.

Mr Phiri and his entourage is expected to have a meeting with traditional leaders in Ndola where the maps will be handed over to them.

Meanwhile, Copperbelt province traditional leaders have, through their chairperson chief Nkambo IV, welcomed the move and commended government for the step taken.


  1. Chieftain boundaries were never rigorously demarcated so that each chief could know the extent of land under their traditional “title”. It’s therefore naive for anyone to claim to hv such a map. In general terms, where local people who owed allegiance to a particular chief ceased to be found, that was the boundary. Any open and unoccupied land between two different tribes that owed allegiance to different chiefs was for all practical purposes ” no man’s land”. Permanent Secretary Nicholas Phiri speaks traditional Chewa language. That means that his ties to rural parts of Eastern province are strong and therefore ought to know what I’m talking about. Africans never drew any lines on a map to signify a border. Where a chiefs people ceased to be found was the frontier.

    • “In general terms, where local people who owed allegiance to a particular chief ceased to be found, that was the boundary.”
      That works logically but its not so in reality. Some chiefs have claimed land where their people dont even live.

  2. Since we are a republic chiefs should just forget about their boundaries. All our resources belong to the republic not to chiefdoms

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