Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people has proposed the need for all tribes in Zambia to establish the Electoral College which will be responsible for selecting Chiefs.
The Paramount Chief said the establishment of the Electoral College will help to lessen tension and resolve succession wrangles in chiefdoms.
He explained that currently, there is confusion in the selection of chiefs in some chiefdoms.
He said the selection of most chiefs ends up being challenged in the courts of law.
The Mwinelubemba said this when Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Permanent Secretary in charge of Technical Services Nicholas Phiri paid a courtesy call on him at his residence in Kasama.
Mr Phiri is in the area for stakeholder’s engagement meeting with government officials and chiefs from various areas on the enhanced 1958 chiefdom boundary and distribution of maps.
And the Chitimukulu has observed that Chiefdom boundary conflicts have come about after the restructuring of Chiefdom boundaries in the 1940s which has affected a number of chiefdoms stating that some chiefdoms have created their own boundaries.
“The issue of Chiefdom boundaries is an interesting and critical matter that needs to be seriously addressed,” he said.
He has also thanked government for its effort in completing the stalled works and building of the palaces in the country using Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Meanwhile, Mr Phiri says the 1958 Chiefdom boundary maps remain the only officially recognized and authorized document by the government.
Mr Phiri says all the chiefdom boundaries in Zambia are described in accordance with the 1958 Chiefdom boundary maps.
The Permanent Secretary who later held a meeting with stakeholders noted that Government is aware that there are chiefdoms that do not appear on the 1958 Chiefdom boundary maps.
Mr Phiri highlighted that the reproduction of the 1958 Chiefdom boundary map was done by superimposing topographic features and did not involve the production of new maps.
“No new chiefdom maps can be produced without extensive consultation with various stakeholders and key to these consultations are your highnesses. Be rest assured that nothing changed during the reproduction of the Chiefdom boundary maps except the inclusion of topographic features,” he explained.
He also expressed concern with the tendency of traditional leaders to extend chiefdoms to accommodate villagers that have relocated to other villages outside their chiefdoms.
Mr Phiri further stated that the district boundaries do not have an effect on Chiefdom boundaries as the two are independent of each other adding that creation of new districts does not in any way alter Chiefdom boundaries.
“The creation of new districts do not in any way alter Chiefdom boundaries. Chiefdom boundaries have remained the same since 1958 while district boundaries have been altered mainly due to the creation of new ones.” He noted.
And Northern Province Permanent Secretary Bernard Mpundu said the problem of Chiefdom boundary wrangles should be resolved once and for all.
Mr Mpundu added that the step taken by government to address these challenges is timely as these disputes have been ongoing.