HOUSE of Chiefs chairperson senior Chief Luembe says it will be unfortunate if government completely scraps off the Ministry Chiefs and Traditional Affairs because it’s a direct link between government and communities.

In an interview, Chief Luembe hoped President Hakainde Hichilema was “still working on it”.

“First of all, I would not say it has been scrapped off because we do not know whether the President is still working on it or not. But should that be the case, my view is that will be very unfortunate that such an important Ministry has been scrapped off because it is a Ministry that looks at the affairs of traditional leaders who are directly in contact with the communities that we serve both as government and traditional leaders. So my comment would be that, that should not be the case,” he said.

“I would appeal to the government to look into that issue again and reconsider. They should not completely scrap it off because it is one of those Ministries that are very important in the planning of the day-to-day government affairs. As traditional leaders, we are the custodians of the communities that government and us serve. So it is the direct link between government and the communities that government is serving. So that is how important it is.”

And Chief Luembe said the House of Chiefs would reconvene to discuss the matter and engage government on the way forward.

“I would not say it would completely disconnect because obviously being the people in government, they may find a way of linking the royal highnesses with government but that will depend on how they do it. I do not know what reasons were looked at when the Ministry was not included among the Ministries that were announced. There could be other reasons that you and I do not know because we are not part of the sitting government,” said Chief Luembe.

“So we will engage government. Today and tomorrow, some processes are going to pose to elect the members of the House of Chiefs and the other remaining number will be voting next week. So when the house reconvenes, obviously that may be one of the issues that will be discussed and as quickly as possible government may be engaged to find the way forward.”