Chief Zombe of the Lungu people in Northern Province says traditional leaders in the region are in the process of forming an association of Chiefs to curb early marriages.

Speaking to News Diggers in an interview, Chief Zombe said earlier marriages were retarding development in the country and his chiefdom in particular.

“I have decided that we just have to form an organisation of chiefs and come up with an association and then we call our fellow chiefs, sit down and see how we can tackle the issue of early marriages. That is a very serious matter which is retarding development in Zambia especially here where girl-child education is needed,” he said.

“So as a result, an organisation is going to be formed. It’s unfortunate that we haven’t met our MP so that we could sit with him and see how we can register that organisation,.”

And Chief Zombe said it was unfortunate that the chiefs in Southern Province had continued bickering with the ruling party and its leadership.

“I don’t believe its a good idea that the Southern chiefs can choose not to invite government at their traditional ceremony because you know working with government is something that is very important. So there should be at least some cooperation in terms of development between chiefs and government,” said Chief Zombe.

“Government has really explained for a number of years that chiefs are stakeholders in development, and its true chiefs are stakeholders in development. So if you say now we don’t want government to be attending traditional ceremonies, it’s unfortunate. The only thing is that some chiefs are very much involving themselves in political affairs. Us chiefs are traditional leaders, uniting people and showing them how to live in unity.”