CHIEFS and Traditional Affairs Minister Lawrence Sichalwe says he is not intimidated that he is competing with President Edgar Lungu’s daughter, Tasila Lungu for adoption to contest as member of parliament for Chawama Constituency on the PF ticket.
In an interview, Sichalwe said as a sitting member of parliament, the works he had done in his constituency would talk for him.
He added that people could not compare promissory notes of aspiring candidates with the development that he had delivered in the constituency.
“Why should I feel intimidated? I am a sitting MP. I promised the people of Chawama what I would do for them. So it’s up to the people of Chawama to check the checklist that we gave them, and ask themselves ‘has this person really delivered on the checklist that he gave us’? For me, I promised the people development, have I delivered on what I promised them? So those who are coming today, it is more or less comparing oranges and apples. Because I promised the people development, so it is up to the people to weigh in on what I promised. Those who will come after me are coming with promissory notes. You cannot compare the promissory notes with what I have done. So basically, in short what I am saying is that the work I did will talk for me,” Sichalwe said.
“Despite being a sitting MP, I have had to go through the process of selection. I did attend interviews at all the levels, starting with the constituencies, districts and provinces. Where we sit now, it is waiting for the central committee to decide who they will adopt. So, we got no say other than just wait for the central committee to do their process also.”
Asked to comment on the purported arrest of Chief Mukuni’s wife of the Toka-Leya people of Kazungula district, Sichalwe said he couldn’t comment on the matter but that if one had broken the law, the law should take its course.
“Basically, I cannot comment on the arrest because that hinges on the Ministry of Home Affairs. If somebody is arrested, then he is in conflict with the law. So, the law will have to take its course, I really can’t dwell in detail over that, because the Minister of Home Affairs can be better placed and know why they are taking such actions,” he said.
Sichalwe further urged traditional leaders not to be partisan in performing their duties.
“My advice to traditional leaders is that let them by all means not be partisan. Traditional leaders are unifying factors. They interact with people from different areas of society, different political backgrounds, especially now that we are going into campaigns. The chiefs will be visited by different political leaders paying courtesy calls on them as per tradition, before they go into their chiefdoms to go and sell themselves to the electorates. Now, because of that fact, all of us are perceived to be children of the chiefs. So, the chiefs should receive everybody and they will give them the blessings to go and sell themselves to the electorates. Being mindful of what they utter, this is the more reason they should try by all means not to be partisan,” he said.
“When they are partisan, it compromises their position where they will fail to handle even disputes in their own chiefdoms. For example, a chief is partisan to a particular party, then the dispute in the chiefdom where the conflict involves subjects coming from different parties, the chief will be compromised in passing reconciliation decisions there.”