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House of Chiefs Issues Warning on Traditional Leaders Residing Outside Chiefdoms

The House of Chiefs has issued a cautionary statement in response to the growing concern of traditional leaders residing outside their chiefdoms. The statement urges chiefs to fulfill their duty by residing within their designated areas.

The official statement, delivered by Chila Namaiko, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, conveyed the worries of the House of Chiefs regarding the growing tendency of traditional leaders opting to live in towns rather than their chiefdoms.

His Royal Highness Dr. Chief Chisunka, Chairperson of the House of Chiefs, emphasized the adverse effects of such absenteeism, highlighting the potential for a leadership vacuum and the creation of instability within the chieftaincy.

The statement referred to Chapter 287 of the Laws of Zambia, specifically Section 11 (1) of The Chiefs Act, which outlines the functions of a chief, including the crucial responsibility of preserving public peace within the chiefdom.

Dr. Chief Chisunka stressed that traditional leaders, as custodians of their respective chiefdoms, should adhere to the established rules and regulations that dictate their residence within the chiefdom. Failure to do so, he warned, could contribute to increased conflicts and disorderly behavior.

“A Chief must provide leadership to his or her people on a daily basis. He or she is a link between Government and other partners providing services to the subjects,” stated His Royal Highness, emphasizing the importance of Chiefs being present to perform their duties effectively.

Furthermore, Dr. Chief Chisunka discouraged traditional leaders from leaving the leadership of the chiefdom solely to royal establishments and committees, asserting the necessity for Chiefs to personally interface between Government officials, the people, and other stakeholders to avoid misrepresentation.

In a resolution passed during its recent session, the House of Chiefs called on all traditional leaders to reside within their chiefdoms. The resolution emphasized adherence to applicable traditions and culture, insisting that Chiefs currently residing outside their palaces should relocate.

While commending the government for various developmental projects, including the construction of Chiefs’ palaces, schools, and health facilities, Dr. Chief Chisunka emphasized that traditional leaders play a vital role in actualizing the government’s vision by residing within their chiefdoms to facilitate the implementation of these projects.

The House of Chiefs anticipates that this cautionary message will encourage traditional leaders to prioritize their residence within chiefdoms, fostering stability, effective leadership, and collaboration with developmental initiatives for the benefit of their subjects.

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