Mansa, February 14, 2015, ZANIS – Chieftainess Mulongwe of the abena Ngumbo on Mbabala Island in Samfya district has called on the newly appointed Permanent Secretary for Luapula province Boniface Chimbwali to visit all the Chiefdoms in the region to understand the various challenges the traditional leaders faced.
ZANIS reports that the Chieftainess made the call in Mansa yesterday.
She said Government must find a better way of resolving succession disputes in various chiefdoms because some cases have dragged for too long in the courts of law which had impacted negatively on the developmental programmes in the affected chiefdoms.
She said a case in point was that of Chief Mbulu on Chishi Island of abena Ngumbo which has taken over 13 years and the chiefdom has lagged behind in developmental programmes because of the absence of a recognized traditional leader for the in the chiefdom.
She added that the Mulakwa Chiefdom of the Kabende people of Senior Chief Kalasamukoso in Samfya district has also been without a traditional leader since 2007 which has affected negatively the developmental agenda and programmes in the Chiefdom.
She said the criteria for identifying a successor once a chief dies which has been left to village headmen and women should be changed so that the traditional leaders of a given tribe should be the ones to appoint the successor because they were the same people who could help even in times of disputes.
She explained that for the abena Ngumbo Senior Chief Mwewa with other Ngumbo Chiefs should have the right to sit, discuss and identify the successor to any chiefdom within the abena Ngumbo which will help a great deal as opposed to leaving such a responsibility to village headmen and women who usually end up in the courts of law.
The traditional leader noted that even among the Ushi people in the Province, Chiefs Sokontwe of Milenge district and Kalaba needed quick attention for succession.
She said Chief Chimese and Kalasalukangaba were still awaiting recognition but the process should be speeded up in order to foster development in the affected chiefdoms.
She observed that the positions of traditional leaders have been attractive because of the Government monthly monetary allowance which the Patriotic Front introduced and many people wanted to become traditional leaders because of the financial benefit attendant to the office.
She also noted that following the monetary allowance from government, currently the subjects had stopped offering sundries to the traditional leaders but instead were always requesting for economic help from them which was not a dominant feature in the past.
The Chieftainess observed that she needed a harbour between her chiefdom and Samfya district for easy mobilibity.
She added that Government should also construct a road between Kasoma Bangweulu to Katanshya and a bridge or a pontoon in the interim to connect her the people of Chishi Island to Chilubi who should be passing through Mbabala to Samfya.
She also appealed for a police Post to reduce incidents of crime in her over 6000 populated Chiefdom covering the land mass of an area of 32kilometers in length and 5 kilometers in width on the waters of Lake Bangweulu.
She called for strong interventions on stopping early marriages which were on the increase among her subjects and suggested that Non Governmental Organisations should start visiting her chiefdom to sensitise her subjects on the dangers of early marriages.
She also called on the Ministry of Agriculture to send Agriculture Extension Officers to the Island to encourage and teach her subjects on diversifying from fishing to growing maize and other crops on the Island which would enhance food security at household levels.