President Hakainde Hichilema led the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Chiefs’ palaces in Luapula province. The first of these palaces will be erected for His Royal Highness Chief Chimese of Bahati, Mansa, highlighting the government’s commitment to working closely with traditional leaders to enhance their living and working environments.
President Hichilema, speaking at the launch event held at Chief Chimese’s palace, expressed determination to construct palaces across the country without segregation, emphasizing the unity of Zambia as one nation and one people. The President reiterated the crucial role played by traditional leaders in uplifting the lives of all Zambians and stressed the need for their living conditions to align with their significant roles in society.
“As the UPND government, we remain determined and focused on uplifting the lives of all Zambians wherever they are. The traditional leaders play a key role in doing so. As such, their living and working environment must support this role,” President Hichilema affirmed.
Luapula province is set to benefit from 14 palaces out of the 110 planned for construction in the first phase. President Hichilema’s vision encompasses not only the physical structures but also the empowerment and support of traditional leaders in their vital roles.
Acknowledging the natural wonders and resources present in Luapula, including water bodies and pastures, President Hichilema expressed optimism about Zambia’s transformative potential. He called on all citizens to actively participate in the nation’s development, emphasizing that challenges are faced and victories achieved together as one united people.
In addressing the gathering, the President also conveyed the government’s commitment to improving feeder roads, empowering local authorities with increased Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This move aims to decentralize responsibility and enhance local development initiatives.
Local Government Minister Garry Nkombo assured that the government would complete the construction of other chiefs’ palaces that had stalled since 2014. He echoed the President’s call for collaboration between the government and traditional leadership for the benefit of the nation.
Chief Chimese’s spokesperson, James Kunda, expressed gratitude to President Hichilema for choosing to launch the construction of Chiefs’ palaces at Chief Chimese’s palace. He also appealed for attention to the Mansa-Matanda and Mansa-Kalaba roads, emphasizing their importance to the region.