Chief Chikanta of the Tonga speaking people in Kalomo District has invited former Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba to the Chuungu-Lwiindi traditional ceremony slated for next month, as a symbol of unity in the country.

Presenting the letter of invitation to Kalaba when the Bahati lawmaker called on him at his Choma office, Monday, Chief Chikanta, who is also Southern Province Royal Foundation Chairperson, said traditional ceremonies were good for promoting peace and unity in the nation.

“Honourable, I would like to welcome you to my office. My office is in Kalomo, but I also have an office here in Choma. I am pleased that you found time to pass through and see me despite your busy schedule. I equally have people I am supposed to see and, therefore, I would like to invite you to the Chuungu traditional ceremony, which us coming up next month. I am sure there, we will be able to talk more. Please find time to come and celebrate with us. Remember Honourable that this ceremony was founded on the basis of peace and unity. Hence, the need to embrace all types of people across this country,” Chief Chikanta said.

And the traditional leader disclosed that this year’s celebration of the Chuungu traditional ceremony would be graced by His Royal Highness Chief Shakumbila of the Sala speaking people in Central Province.

Further, Chief Chikanta called on government to consider working on the Muyobe – Chikanta road ahead of the upcoming traditional ceremony in his area.

“We informed the government about that road. We have been talking about the issue of roads, the issue of towers and hydroelectricity as well. But at least now, they’ve put up towers, about six Zamtel towers in the constituency. Then about the issue of electricity; right now, REA (Rural Electrification Authority) is putting up electricity poles on the Choma turn-off up to the palace. So, the only issue that is remaining now is the road. So, we are hoping that after we do electricity and towers, probably the road will be worked on; that’s our wish,” Chief Chikanta said.

He also disclosed that his subjects had opted to sell their maize this season mostly to private buyers due to the low buying price that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) had announced.

“People are selling, they are selling to FRA and to the private sector, but mainly, they are selling to the private buyers because the price that FRA announced was really below what people expected. So, mainly, they are just selling to the private sector. FRA is picking up the little that is coming through. But again, this time, I think the farmers are happy because they are selling at a price, which is slightly better than last year. However, I just hope FRA will not delay in paying the farmers that are not selling to private buyers, I really hope they will make the payments quick this time around because they have seen the competition,” said Chief Chikanta.