Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II of the Soli-speaking people has warned that she will deal with any parent in her chiefdom who will marry off a girl child in exchange for wealth.

And Chieftainess Nkomeshya says she will remain non-partisan while continuing to respect all political party leaders in the country.

Speaking on Saturday in Chongwe District during the Chakwela Makumbi traditional ceremony graced by Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people, chieftainess Nkomeshya said the high rate of child marriages in the country were retrogressive to community development.

“Young ones are the great future of this nation, and as a traditional leader, I want to state that my chiefdom has not been spared from early marriages or child marriages. Child marriages are very retrogressive to community development and I, therefore, want to sound a warning to all my people in this chiefdom that I will not spare any parent who will be found marrying a child on the grounds of getting wealth. Let a child be a child and not a dowry,” chieftainess Nkomeshya cautioned.

And she urged government to construct houses for health workers in Chongwe and Kafue District Hospital.

“I want to appeal to this government to construct houses for health workers here in Chongwe and Kafue District hospitals and all health centres throughout my chiefdom. I want government to increase funding in the health sector in this district in order for health delivery not to be compromised. I want to also to thank the PF government for the respect accorded to chiefs in this country through the construction of palaces,” she said.

“Allow me, now, to make some observation, consultation and consideration of the government. This year’s agriculture season was a disaster and we had poor harvest and I am happy that government is aware of the hunger situation in the country due to the drought, which this country experienced during the 2018/2019 farming season. Let me appeal to the government to continue distributing relief foods to the people of Zambia.”

Meanwhile, the traditional leader said she would remain non-partisan.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, my role as a traditional leader is to work with the government of the day and the President of the Republic of Zambia. Of course, I also respect all leaders of other political parties because for them to be political leaders, it is their constitutional right and they must be respected. I am non-partisan and as long as I remain a traditional leader I shall remain non-partisan,” said chieftainess Nkomeshya.

Chieftainess Nkomeshya later prayed to God for a good rainfall.

Among those who attended this year’s Chakwela Makumbi was UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, MMD faction leader Felix Mutati, NDC vice president Joseph Akafumba and former Republican Vice President Nevers Mumba.

Others were traditional leaders from Central Province, Lusaka Deputy Mayor Christopher Shakafuswa and Chongwe council workers.