CHIEFS should play a neutral role in politics, according to chief Chanje of the Chewa people of Chipata.
Speaking when a PF delegation led by party vice-president Guy Scott paid a courtesy call on him at his palace on Sunday, chief Chanje said all the people who were in politics belonged to the traditional leaders.
“We have eyes, we hear problems from people but we can’t come out to say ‘this one is not doing what, this one that’ because all of you who are in politics are our children. We leave it for our people to choose leaders of their choice,” chief Chanje said.
He said there was need for political parties to make regular visits to chiefdoms like his so that they could enable people to understand their manifestos.
Chief Chanje said politicians were free to consult traditional leaders on various matters.
“Consultation is important because even we chiefs we do consult from Indunas, headmen and ordinary people. It does not mean that because we are chiefs then we know everything,” chief Chanje said.
And Scott said traditional leaders should not side with any political party.
“We in PF believe that chiefs can play a big role in land administration, keep law and order, fighting animal diseases but they shouldn’t be siding with the ruling party or against the ruling party.
They stand for the people and chiefs must work with the government of the day and not the party of the day,” Scott said. “We appreciate chiefs but we don’t want them to campaign for PF or any political party. That will be very bad but to allow us to come and talk to your people.”
He said the PF appeared strong in Eastern Province.
Later at a rally in Kapasa area of Chipangali constituency, which was also attended by over 50 headmen, Scott said the resignation of Chipata Central parliamentarian Lameck Mangani would break MMD in Eastern Province.
“Mangani has left MMD, who is next? Just wait for a moment someone will come to the boat. Maybe Rupiah himself otherwise he will remain alone without people,” Scott said.
He urged the people of Eastern Province to be strong and vote for change.
“I like the people of this province, you are hardworking and you are also wise. You have problems and you need serious people to solve those problems,” Scott said.
He said it was unfortunate that President Banda did not fulfill his promise of bringing companies to buy tobacco in the province.
Scott refuted all the MMD sponsored propaganda about PF.
Scott said the MMD was scared of Michael Sata and this was the root of the propaganda stories being created against him and the PF.
Headman Chiyona who spoke on behalf of the headmen urged the PF to fulfil its promises.
Headman Chiyona said the headmen would listen to all politicians that would go to the area and make their own good judgment.
The rally was attended by provincial treasurer John Chibanga, provincial chairperson Enelesi Banda, provincial publicity secretary Mung’omba Ngoma, provincial women’s treasurer Vera Moyo, provincial youth chairperson Andrew Lubusha and many other provincial, district and constituency officials.
Scott was yesterday expected to hold another rally in Paramount chief Mpezeni’s area in Luangeni Constituency.