In a bid to empower communities and enhance access to fundamental rights, Local Government and Rural Development Minister Gary Nkombo urged traditional leaders to collaborate with the government in advocating for free education and healthcare for children across the country.
Mr. Nkombo voiced this call during his presence at the installation of Peter Chandwe as the Senior Chief Nkula of Chinsali District, emphasizing the pivotal role traditional leaders play in shaping and nurturing communities beyond their cultural roles.
He highlighted the importance of traditional leaders in educating and mobilizing communities to embrace the opportunities provided by the government’s initiative for free education. He underscored that their influence is instrumental in encouraging parents to enroll their children in schools, leveraging the New Dawn Government’s provision of free education.
Beyond preserving cultural heritage, Mr. Nkombo emphasized that traditional leaders also bear the responsibility of safeguarding the community’s welfare. He specifically addressed concerns about issues like early marriages, stressing the need for collective action to protect children from such negative practices.
The minister urged Senior Chief Nkula and other traditional leaders to align their visions with the government’s goals, promoting collaborative efforts to enhance the livelihoods and well-being of their communities.
Highlighting the critical role of chiefs in national development, Mr. Nkombo emphasized the importance of their contribution, especially in the effective implementation of programs like the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) aimed at uplifting citizens’ lives.
Encouraging the Council of Chiefs, which interfaces with the House of Chiefs, the minister urged them to inspire innovative utilization of the CDF, fostering ventures that bring tangible benefits to the communities they serve.
Responding to the minister’s call, Chief Nkweto expressed gratitude to the government for its efforts in improving the lives of all citizens, particularly through programs like the CDF. He highlighted the positive impact of these initiatives, notably in reducing inequalities, especially in rural communities.