President Hakainde Hichilema has pledged to restore the integrity of Chiefs in the country by closely working with the traditional leaders.
President Hichilema said government is not in any competition with traditional or church leaders because it considers them as partners in development.
The President has encouraged traditional leaders to focus on working together and promoting values through traditional ceremonies like Ncwala.
Gracing this year’s Ncwala Traditional Ceremony of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province, President Hichilema said his administration wants to institutionalize traditional leaders by ensuring that they have well built palaces.
President Hichilema said this year’s Ncwala Theme; “Promoting healing, reconciliation and unity,” is cardinal as peace, stability and unity is important to the new dawn government looking at where the country is coming from before the elections.
The President said the spectacle of Ncwala is evident by the multitude of people from across the country who have attended the ceremony.
And President Hichilema said he will support people’s priorities by allowing them to decide their development agenda as evidenced with the increased allocation of CDF.
He said with only two months of implementing the new dawn government’s budget, free education is already being rolled out from Grades One to 12, which has led to increased enrollment levels in schools.
And Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province has urged politicians to embrace dialogue and avoid bickering.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni said the theme for this year’s Ncwala traditional ceremony in anchored on the need to promote peace and unity in the country.
In a message delivered by Ncwala National Organising Committee Chairman Betsy Nkhoma, The Ngoni paramount chief also reiterated his pledge to support President HICHILEMA’s leadership in developing the country.
He expressed happiness with the presence of the President and Chiefs from various parts of the country, saying culture is important as it reflects unity in a country.
The traditional leader further applauded President HICHILEMA for increasing CDF allocation to over 25 Million kwacha for each Constituency, which he said will help improve the welfare of citizens if utilsed in a transparent manner.
He advised President Hichilema to be strong, focused and avoid listening to detractors as Zambians gave him a five year mandate to manage their affairs.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni , however, expressed concern that Chipata does not have a functional airport for domestic and international flights forcing people to use Mfuwe.
The traditional leader also called for change of names of Mwami Border and Mwami Hospital to honour the Ngoni leadership by naming the facilities after them.
And Main sponsor Zambezi Seed expressed optimism that the agriculture sector under President Hichilema’s leadership will succeed.
Company Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Hambwezya also noted that agriculture has the capacity to create more jobs than any other sector.
Mr Hambwezya, however, stated the need to teach farmers on soil conservation and providing more resources to extension officers.
He also appealed for more crops to be included under the Farmer Input Support Program while commending the President for according himself the title of Chief Marketing Officer for the country.
And, ATLAS Mara Board Member Jacob Sikazwe said the Ncwala ceremony is a good example of cultural preservation.
He also praised President Hichilema’s call and commitment to diversify the economy. ZNBC