Senior Chief Shakumbila of the Sala people of Mumbwa District in Central province says traditional leaders should act as middlemen to restore peace in the country before 2020.

Speaking in an interview with News Diggers today, Chief Shakumbila said it was also not helpful for President Edgar Lungu to boycott traditional ceremonies.

The traditional leader said President Lungu was forced to make the decision to shun traditional ceremonies because some chiefs had taken political sides in their leadership.

“Some of the traditional leaders have decided to take sides in terms of political affiliation. A traditional leader is a unifying factor. Where two political parties are crushing each other, a traditional leader should always find a way to come in as a middleman to bring peace between the two groups of people. So that really, if we live it to continue, its endangering the position of our peace in this country. We must find a way to harmonize it, to bring it to an end before 2020. because if we allow it to continue as it is now, then 2020 we will have no peace because that is the year when everybody will be getting ready for 2021 elections,” Chief Shakumbila said.

He said there was need for traditional leaders to unite and speak with one voice for peace to prevail.

“We have to organise ourselves as traditional leaders and find a better solution to this problem. We should not be scared because these people, the political leaders have a fixed period of time and these are our children, we are the fathers of the nation. So it is our duty to bring unity and to make sure that every politician has no fear to enter any area. President Lungu is the President of the country whether one likes it or not, he was given a mandate by Zambians to rule Zambia for a period of five years. So he must be a free man to enter any area,” Chief Shakumbila said.

“And anybody holding a traditional ceremony should extend the invitation to the leader of the country, the leader of the nation. Because everybody, young or old look up to him. So there is no way we can ignore him. Whether he is a bad man or a good man, we should always accommodate him in whatever we do. As traditional leaders, we are the key, the traditional leaders are the owners of the country, we are the owners of the people. You know the traditional leader has no fixed period of time to rule unless death comes on the way, that is when a traditional leader can come out of office. There are those who have ruled Zambia as traditional leaders from the time of independence and they are still there. So it is really unfortunate that as traditional leaders, we start dividing our nation, its really bad,” said Chief Shakumbila.