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Chief Chitambo Praises The Post For Improving Distribution In Rural Areas

LUSAKA, May 14 - Chief Chitambo of Serenje district yesterday commended The Post management for improving its distribution of the newspaper to rural areas.

Debating the motion to amend the Chiefs Act to accommodate their payment of salaries and allowances in the House of Chiefs, chief Chitambo said The Post's good distribution system had helped traditional leaders and the rural population to be empowered with information.

"I wish to commend The Post managing director and his team for according us chance to read the newspaper at the same time with the people in Lusaka," chief Chitambo said.

He said The Post's distribution system would enable chiefs to effectively participate in the governance of the country because they would take well-informed decisions on matters of national interest.

"I read The Post everyday around 07:00 hours. I have since arranged with one of their vendors to be dropping my copy of The Post everyday at my palace," he said.

Chief Chitambo said the Chiefs Act should be reviewed to compel government to provide dissent accommodation and wages for traditional leaders.

"I almost refused to accept the throne because of the poor salary," chief Chitambo said. "I left my beautiful accommodation which my former employers provided and ended up in a dilapidated palace."

Chief Chitambo complained the chiefs' current subsidies were far short of meeting the traditional leaders' needs.

"K250,000 is too little for me as a father of 24 children," he said. "Government must appreciate that chiefs do not strike even after delaying their dues for several months."

He said chiefs should continue to receive royalties from their visiting subjects.

"I will not accept to meet someone at my palace who doesn't have something in her or his hands to give me," said chief Chitambo as his fellow chiefs responded with approval. "I am not being corrupt, but it our custom that we need to observe."

And chief Chikanta of Kalomo district said the new Chiefs Act should recognise chiefs' roles and contribution towards the country's economic and social development.

He said the new Chiefs Act should empower chiefs to demand for royalties from the investors and business persons operating in their chiefdoms.

"Zambia is the only country where foreign investors become rich within few days and begin to disrespect chiefs," chief Chikanta said. "I don't understand why chief Simwatachela is starving while some people are mining in his chiefdom. This must stop."

Chieftainess Chiawa demanded the restoration of chiefs' dignity in the country.

"Zambia's history is incomplete without chiefs," she said.

She called for equitable distribution of the country's wealth between the urban people and rural population.

Chief Kabinga said the country's crusade against corruption would not be successful without the involvement of chiefs.

Chief Mwansakombe observed that chiefs' subjects had nothing to offer because they were out of employment.

"How do you expect our subjects to give us royalties when they were thrown out of employment?" he asked. "It is government's duty to allocate good salaries for chiefs."

He said chiefs were failing to walk with their heads high because their status was synonymous to poverty.

Chief Mwansakombe wondered why government failed to complete the electrification of his palace despite ZESCO taking the power lines to his doorstep four years ago.

"Is this respect for chiefs?" chief Mwansakombe asked.

By Brighton Phiri
Source: The Post / allAfrica Global Media

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