President Hakainde Hichilema says he is determined to work with traditional leaders in transforming the economy of Zambia.
President Hichilema says the unique cultural heritage of various traditional ceremonies are a valuable product for attracting both domestic and foreign tourists.
President Hichilema said this through Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary, Henry Mukungule, during this year’s Chinamanongo traditional ceremony of the Bisa people in Kanchibiya district.
The President said the Kopa chiefdom has a lot of potential tourism attraction sites such as the recently identified Mumbotuta water falls.
He said the waterfall can contribute significantly to the development of the tourism sector in Zambia if it is well developed and marked.
President Hichilema added that there is also great need to appreciate the Bisa culture which is being exhibited through the Chinamanongo traditional ceremony.
The ceremony helps the Bisa people to appreciate their culture and heritage.
He said as Muchinga province holds its expo and investment forum next year, government expects that such tourism attractions will be well marketed so as to attract tourists and investors to the district and the province at large.
He said government, through the Ministry of Tourism, has been implementing the Zambia Tourism Master Plan (ZTMP 2018-2038), which is a road map to realigning the sector’s vision and strategies to the national vision of the tourism assets.
“The Zambia tourism master plan identifies a number of interventions that could be implemented to enhance the sector’s contribution to the country’s long-term objectives as outlined in the vision 2030,” President Hichilema said.
He has since called on residents of Kanchibiya district to preserve and celebrate their cultural heritage, saying a nation without culture is like a tree without roots.
President Hichilema added that government will remain committed to uplifting the living standards of the people, including those of Kopa chiefdom through fulfilling its campaign promises.
He explained that the free education policy, increase in the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), the employing of over 40,000 teachers and health workers are some of the benefits Kanchibiya residents have received so far.
And speaking earlier, Chinamanongo traditional ceremony organising committee chairperson, George Katongo, appeal to government to consider working on Mpika-Kopa road and other roads in the district.
Mr. Katongo said it is difficult for people in the area to access the palace due to the road that is in a dilapidated state.
He added that the government should also consider constructing more health posts as the population in the district is growing.
“The clinics and mini-hospital we have here can not cater for the increasing number of Kanchibiya residents hence the need for more health posts,” he said.
And Mr. Katongo said there is need for a boarding school in Kanchibiya in order to guarantee the safety of pupils, especially girls.
He has since thanked the government for fulfilling some of its campaign promises to the people of Kanchibiya district saying the district is slowly taking shape.
And speaking on behalf of the sponsors, Chance Kabaghe, SEEDCO Board Chairman, assured the government and the traditional leadership that more companies will come on board to sponsor the Chinamanongo traditional ceremony in future.
Mr. Kabaghe said traditional ceremonies are important in promoting national development.
He said the business community should work together with the traditional leadership and government.
“I therefore call upon other business communities in the district and outside to come on board so that next year’s Chinamanongo will be a success again,” he said.
Among those who attended this year’s Chinamanongo traditional ceremony are chiefs from various chiefdoms in the province, Kanchibiya Member of Parliament, government heads of departments at both provincial and district level.