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Modern chiefs’ palaces to restore honour

THE construction of chiefs’ palaces has begun in earnest and this should be good news to all who are concerned about the welfare of our traditional leaders.
Once the project is completed, chiefs will dwell in modern houses and this will add to the respect they command in their chiefdoms.
For a long time, traditional leaders have been complaining about the deplorable state of their palaces and now government has come to their aid.
Work has since begun and three palaces have so far been built. Government will build a total of 288 palaces for traditional rulers in chiefdoms around the country.
The construction of the palaces is a phased project and the three that have been built in Luapula Province are out of the 30 designated in the first phase. Fifty palaces are scheduled to be built in the second phase.
According to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Michael Pwete, all  the palaces  are of the same design  and each is estimated to cost K650,000.
But it is gratifying to note from Mr Pwete’s statement that the cost in some instances is bound to come down because of the input of the subjects.
We want to commend the subjects who have taken it upon themselves to contribute to the improvement of the welfare of their chiefs. This is a gesture of love, honour and loyalty towards their chiefs.
The contribution by these subjects to their chiefs’ welfare can also be likened to some form of tribute, which comes out of their self-will, to their rulers whom they hold in high esteem.
Traditional rulers have a number of subjects, some of whom have ascended to the higher echelons in the business world.
It is to such subjects that we propose that they do their part, as loyal subjects, by contributing to this noble cause and help reduce government expenditure.
As Mr Pwete said, the construction of the palaces will be done in  phases because of limited resources, thus our appeal to all those who  have the financial ability to extend their hand to this noble cause.
After all, we all want to see our traditional rulers surrounded by decency, stretching from their palaces to their modes of transportation and to all those that attend to them.
In their quest to foster development in their chiefdoms, traditional rulers host government and foreign dignitaries and this is why they deserve to dwell in modern houses with facilities befitting their status.
We believe the traditional leaders will do their best to look after these structures well so that they serve not only them but even those that will take over after they have gone.
The motivation to preserve these buildings should also stem from the fact that colossal resources are being used to put them up and these will be accounted for by government.
Some traditional practices such as relocating in an event of a death discourage and retard  any development efforts that government seeks to carry out.
We urge chiefs to uphold practices that recognise government’s intentions to respond to their needs, given the huge amounts of money that go into building the palaces.
It will not be prudent for government to build a new palace for a new chief in a different place every time the incumbent dies.
We urge chiefs to guard against such practices and uphold the care government has shown by embarking on this project to add decency to improve their lives.