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Chiefs must stay neutral to reduce tension in the country – NtambuBy Mirriam Chabala on 28 May 2017
House of Chiefs Chairperson Chief Ntambu says the best thing for traditional leaders to do in the face of tension in the country is to be neutral.
And Chief Ntambu says anyone with grievances against chiefs should resolve them in a proper channel to avoid conflict.
Chief Mukuni and other chiefs from Southern Province have been attending UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s court hearings and demanding for his release, attracting criticism from the ruling party.
Recently, PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri attacked chief Mukuni at a press briefing saying he was not a chief but Hakainde Hichilema’s business partner.
But in an interview, Chief Ntambu advised fellow traditional leaders to be neutral and focus on uniting their chiefdoms.
“I think the first prerequisite is for their Royal Highnesses to remain neutral. In any conflict situation, much attention is paid to those people that are perceived to be neutral, once you are perceived to be aligning yourself to a certain grouping, how much you talk no one will pay attention because people will say after all he is already aligned to such a party but if a traditional leadership is neutral, we can play a very constructive role in maintaining peace and unity in the country. So it is incumbent upon us as traditional leaders to remain neutral and focus on uniting our country and bring peace to this country, let us leave politics to politicians, our role is to maintain peace and unity in our country and that way, we shall play a very important role in fostering unity,” chief Ntambu said.
“If you can remember well, immediately after the elections in August last year, we had problems here and there within the country. As house of Chiefs, we came together and issued a statement to the effect that it was important for our people and everybody to play a positive role in maintaining peace and order and I think we made a positive contribution that way. This is what we are doing and in our chiefdoms of course that is our role to tell our subjects on the importance of maintaining peace and unity in our chiefdoms because once chiefdoms are stable, it means even the nation will be stable,” said Chief Ntambu.
And chief Ntambu advised those who had grievances with traditional leaders to resolve them through the House of Chiefs to avoid conflict.
“On the behaviour of their Royal Highnesses, I feel the best way is to address them is through the House of Chiefs, this is to avoid conflicts because such matters like if you say things against a person, in most cases that person will also start reacting and the result does not order well at all. Other people in some cases are drown in to defend the interests of the other party that is concerned like in this case, you might find that other Chiefs also come in to defend the integrity of the Chieftains and things like that so I think it was not good but if it was done through the House of Chiefs, it would have been done in a quiet and a proper way, so this is my stance that there are ways of doing things diplomatically without rising too much dust, instead of going to the public,” said chief Ntambu.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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