Two civil society organizations have maintained that chiefs should not be actively involved in politics for the sake of .
The Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) and the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) says chiefs preside over a huge population of people in the country hence the need for them to remain neutral politically.
Reacting to Senior Chief Mukuni of the Toka-Leya people of’s call for the National Constitution Conference (NCC) to create a mechanism that would allow at least 10 chiefs to be appointed to parliament without undergoing an election, SACCORD Information Officer Michelo Mwango said the idea was not welcome.
Ms Mwango told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that chiefs ought to remain in the advisory role to politicians and desist from having political ambitions.
She said chiefs’ participation in politics would compromise their stand on many issues taking place in the country.
She said chiefs should maintain their status quo and desist from engaging in politics and ensure they remain outside the political bracket.
Ms Mwango said there are various other avenues chiefs can use in order to effectively participate in national development without becoming parliamentarians.
And FODEP Information Officer MacDonald Chipenzi told ZANIS in an interview that chiefs should not engage in politics because they preside over a huge number of people in the country.
Mr Chipenzi said there are various platforms available for chiefs to articulate and air their views on issues in the country other than actively engaging themselves in politics.
He said chiefs have a duty to remain neutral in political matters and that the appointment of chiefs to parliament would mean that they become partisan as they may at times be asked to take a vote on some controversial matter.
Mr Chipenzi said the code of ethics categorically state that chiefs should be non partisan and remain neutral so that they do not influence their people’s choice of a leader.
The FODEP Information Officer further warned that chiefs risk losing their respect and dignity by getting into politics as the politics currently prevailing in the nation were those of insults.