In this audio, Kalonga Gawa Undi, the Paramount Chief of the Chewa people of Zambia’s Eastern Province, Mozambique and Malawi tells Vice-President Inonge Wina that the government did not consult traditional leaders when creating new districts, hence causing conflicts and land disputes in the country.
Speaking during the Kulamba traditional ceremony at Mkaika in Katete district today, Kalonga Gawa Undi asked the PF government to consult before making pronouncements, in order to avoid conflict with the traditional leaders.
“The new districts which have been created by government continue to be a source of friction between the traditional leadership in the areas where new districts were created. Let me say from the outset that consultations were not above board.This also stems from the manner in which these new districts were created,” Kalonga Gawa Undi said.
“Pronouncements were made before consultations were carried out. It is important that the government seriously engages the traditional leadership on matters that have to do with traditional land, so that an amicable solution is arrived at through consensus by the concerned parties without intimidation.”
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He said there was need for intimidation-free consensus among concerned parties and for adherence to hierarchy in the administration of land.
“In areas where hierarchy exists, it should strictly be adhered to. This has become neccessary as Zambia develops so as to avoid conflict between government and chiefs, who are the recognised custodians of traditional land,” said Undi.
He thanked government for upgrading the road that leads to Nkaika from Great East Road, but expressed concern over the poor quality of roadworks in the area.
Meanwhile, acting President Inonge Wina says traditional ceremonies play an important role in the preservation of culture and heritage in different societies.
“This ceremony is a greatest demonstration of the cultural freedom across three countries and across various cultures. Your royal Highness, the 2017 theme ‘educating the girl and boy child and ending early marriages’ resonates very well with the Patriotic Front government’s aspirations of maximising on the nation’s demographic dividends through focussed investment in the youth. Our national statics indicates that the youth constitutes the majority of Zambia’s population. It is therefore in order that we harness this valuable resource by nurturing it from the very tender age,” said Wina.
“The PF government recognises the critical role that traditional ceremonies play in nurturing the unity of purpose among chiefs and their subjects. In the case of the Kulamba traditional ceremony, unity of purpose transcends national boundaries as it is graced by their royal highnesses and their people from Mozambique and Malawi. On behalf of my government and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to extend our very warm welcome to the delegation from the two sister countries.