PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has assured traditional leaders in Zambia that his government will not interfere in their matters.

And UPND Alliance partner Nason Msoni has asked citizens to give President Hichilema time to work.

Speaking on Sunday during the burial of Chieftainess Nyanje of the Nsenga people in Sinda District, Eastern Province, Msoni, who was representing President Hichilema, said the UPND government would allow traditional leaders to handle traditional differences within their traditional circles.

“We came yesterday and all the minor problems which happened we heard them. But we know that issues of the establishment are internal. It’s not government’s duty to intervene in traditional issues. The government of UPND, the government of Hakainde Hichilema will not interfere in the matters of the royal establishment, we will respect our royal establishment” he said.

Msoni said he was saddened by the death of chieftainess Nyanje.

“We are indeed mourning and if President Hakainde Hichilema wasn’t tied up with other national issues, he would have attended the funeral,” he said.

Msoni recalled that when the UPND paid a courtesy call on the late chieftainess during previous campaigns, she welcomed them because she knew that she was every political party’s parent.

He, therefore, called on all political parties to ceasefire and to work together to ensure that Zambia developed.

Msoni further urged citizens to give President Hichilema time to work.

“This is a season for reconciliation. All of us in political parties that spoke ill of each other, insulted each other, now it is time to ceasefire. It’s time to see to it that we built our nation to be a beautiful country. Time is gone for saying this one is PF, we are all one. Same children from the same womb, let’s cooperate. We request that you give us a chance. Just within the [one] week that HH has been in office others have already started throwing stones. Please give President HH time to work. Others say ‘give us free education, give us what you promised’, no! Let’s give him time to work, but I believe that after five years things will be good because all the people he works with are trusted” said Msoni.

Meanwhile, House of Chiefs Chairperson senior Chief Luembe called on the family of the deceased to respect the traditions of the Nsenga people as they choose the next traditional leader.

“I am appealing to the family of the late mother Nyanje that let’s follow the tradition of the Nsenga people. Let’s choose the one we know will have the heart of leadership which was in mother Nyanje. I know others are busy looking for certain things in order to be chosen but it’s God who gives, it’s God who takes away. No matter how much you can try, if you are not chosen there is no portion for you,” Chief Luembe said.

He also thanked government officials for attending the funeral of the late chieftainess Nyanje.

Chief Mukuni of Southern Province called for respect amongst the people in order to ensure that African traditions were valued.

“Let respect be where it should be. If it’s an uncle, respect him, if it’s the parents respect them, children let’s respect them, grandchildren let’s respect them. When such happens, let’s recognize what prevails in these circles. If we battle during funerals that simply means we will destroy our traditions for us Africans. Let’s follow our traditional cultures,” Chief Mukuni said.

Meanwhile, chieftainess Nyanje’s elder brother Boyd Mwale said the deceased was the pillar of the family.

He added that chieftainess Nyanje was not one to hold grudges as even after differing, she would the next day give one a gift as a sign that she had forgotten about what had transpired the previous day.

“She was my sister but I used to treat her like my mother because she was our pillar. She held no grudges and now she is gone. We are heartbroken” Mwale said.

The late chieftainess Nyanje died at the age of 84.

The burial was attended by various chiefs and some government officials.