THE National Restoration Party (NAREP) has urged Government to engage chiefs and other stakeholders in Southern Province to resolve the controversy surrounding the realignment of Chirundu and Itezhi Tezhi districts.
NAREP president Elias Chipimo said most people in the province feel frustrated by Government’s decision to realign the two districts as they were not consulted on the matter.
Mr Chipimo said this on Tuesday when he featured on Let the People Talk programme on Radio Phoenix.
“Chiefs are custodians of customary land and I feel Government should have engaged them first on this matter,” Mr Chipimo said.
President Sata recently realigned Chirundu and Itezhi Tezhi districts from Southern Province to Lusaka and Central Provinces respectively.
The decision has been opposed by chiefs and local people and other stakeholders in the province, who have vowed to block it.
Mr Chipimo said Government should not ‘ambush’ the people in the province by making decisions without consulting them.
“Do not make people feel frustrated on this matter. It is not too late for Government to engage interest groups to iron out burning issues,” Mr Chipimo said.
He said Government should erase the various ‘suspicions’ surrounding the re-aligning of the two districts by engaging in a consultative process.
Mr Chipimo said the relevant authorities should demonstrate to the people of Southern Province that there is nothing sinister about the realignment of the two districts.
“I also feel Government should have engaged the delimitation commission in this matter before making a decision because they are better placed to know which areas need to be re-aligned,” Mr Chipimo said.