…..says M’membe can restore dignity of chiefs..
Mwansabombwe, Thursday (February 8, 2024)
Senior Chief Mwata Kazembe of the Lunda people of Mwansabombwe District in Luapula Province says Zambia is in the squalor of poverty because politicians grabbed power from chiefs.
The Traditional Leader said God never invested authority in politicians but Traditional Leaders as seen in the Bible through Solomon, David and others.
The Mwata has since urged those with ears to hear Socialist Party- SP President Fred M’membe’s message on how he will restore authority among Traditional Leaders.
Mwata Kazembe said he does not agree that Luapula should be the poorest Province in Zambia when his palace had a mansion during stone age.
This came to light when SP President Fred M’membe paid a courtesy call on the Mwata.
“I am very grateful, my President, over the plans SP has. When we declared Zambia as a Christian Nation, we went back to the Bible. God did not install Leadership in politicians but chiefs. But they have grabbed power from chiefs giving latitude to politicians and the country has been destroyed,” he said.
The Traditional Leader said even the Colonial Government did not grab authority of chiefs in totality as it is being done today.
“The answer is no as far as I am concerned. Solomon, David and all were kings because God placed leadership in Traditional Leaders. When Politicians grabbed power from chiefs, God imposed a curse. Bring back our authority if Zambia is to progress. Your message can truly transform Zambia. In 1947, when people were sleeping in caves, my parents had a mansion outside here. Why should Luapula be the poorest Province in Zambia today? I do not agree with that,” he said.
Earlier, SP President Fred M’membe said his party will restore authority among Traditional Leaders within the first three years of being in power.
“Zambia, today, is in shame because of poverty. Luapula is the most affected by the shame of poverty. In 1930, Luapula used to feed the Copperbelt miners and those in Katanga Region. Luapula had the first Black Cooperative in the 1930s. They even had lorries taking food to the Copperbelt Province and Katanga Region,” he said.
Dr. M’membe said it was saddening that the once wealthiest Province, Luapula, has shrunk to poverty levels currently standing at 77.3% with the highest number of stunted children.
“All economic and social indicators in Luapula in Luapula are far below. Food is not readily available, fish is depleted in water bodies of which we remained with plain water running into the Congo River and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean. Cassava has been rotting in the last three years because of Brown Streak Disease. Poverty is an embarrassing situation because very few respect poor people. If we do not change how we govern, poverty will continue escalating,” he said.
Dr. M’membe said politicians on their own have failed to effectively govern Zambia for the last 60 years that Politicians have ruled the country.
“Before the 1950s, Zambia had no Politicians. Chiefs ruled. After independence, we remained with Politicians. Politicians on their own cannot manage to liberate the people from the squalor of poverty. Chiefs as owners of the country should get involved in the governance of the country before it is completely destroyed. In an event that we win elections in the 2026 general election, we will change the governance style. We will have traditional leadership, religious leadership, providing leadership together with Politicians. Even in England where we copy things from, Head of State is not a Politician but a Traditional Leader. There is even Church of England which is part of the State. Then there is House of Lords as part of the State. Then there is a Politician under House of Commons at West Minister led by the Prime Minister. Even Japan where we admire vehicles production, that is how they govern through a Traditional Leader called an Emperor. A lot of countries in Europe like Spain, Denmark, Norway it’s not Politicians alone governing those countries. We need to agree that Politicians have failed to govern Zambia effectively on their own without Chiefs. If we win in 2026, we shall localise leadership. There will be no Provincial Ministers and District Commissioners. Provincial and district leaders will be Chiefs. We will have Members of Parliament and Councilors but they will not be there in isolation but will have selected leaders from the Chiefdoms and religious institutions. Chiefs will be giving mining licenses as opposed to getting instructions from Lusaka. Chiefs will be custodians of mineral royalties who will in turn send half to central government in Lusaka so that the remaining half remains in the chiefdom. A portion goes to the Chief to pay Chiefs, sub Chiefs and Headmen. We shall create provincial banks where all money collected from minerals will be kept. We have been mining minerals for years but we do not have millionaires in Luapula. Even the Royal Establishments are not millionaires. Where does the money go? Within the first three years of the SP in power, the Kazembe Royal Establishment will be millionaires. Royal Establishments will fund the 2031 general election. Before independence, there was no Politician who was richer than Chiefs. Even the Barotse Royal Establishment which had a lot of resources is currently very poor. An MP or Minister today has more money than the Litunga,” he said.
This is contained in a statement issued by SP Director Media Brian Hapunda.