THE National Empowerment Forum (NEF) has charged that there is nothing wrong with Chief Singani’s support for President Edgar Lungu for the sake of lobbying for development for his chiefdom.
NEF executive director Edgar Siakachoma said he was disappointed by some traditional leaders in Southern Province who have condemned Chief Singani of the Tonga people in Kalomo for openly declaring that he was supporting the Government of the day in order to seek development for his subjects.
Mr Siakachoma said it was not a secret that some chiefs in Southern Province have openly declared to work against President Lungu because they were supporting a known opposition leader with the hope that he was going to form government.
He told the Daily Nation in an interview yesterday that Chief Singani like any other traditional leader had the right to support a leadership of his own choice in his desire to lobby for development for his subjects.
Mr Siakachoma said the MPs and the councillors in Kalomo had let down Chief Singani because they had spent much of their time condemning and attacking Government programmes.
He stated that it was wise for Chief Singani to support President Lungu in his desire to lobby for development unlike some traditional leaders who were supporting an opposition leader for purely selfish political reasons.
Mr Siakachoma observed that some traditional leaders in Southern Province had openly differed with President Lungu not because he had failed to deliver development but that their loath for the Head of State was based on their support for some known opposition party president.
“It is shocking that Chief Singani is being demonized for openly declaring his support for President Edgar Lungu in his quest to lobby for development for his chiefdom. We are disappointed that some traditional leaders have taken turns in abusing Chief Singani who is a traditional leader like any other.
‘‘It is wise for Chief Singani to choose to work with the government of the day because he realizes that it is only working with President Lungu that he would see development for his subjects and not his palace. We know some chiefs in Southern Province who have chosen to differ with President Lungu because they are supporting their unknown president,” he said.
Mr Siakachoma recalled that Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people supported former president Michael Sata because he wanted development for his chiefdom.
He urged Chief Singani not to be discouraged by negative and disparaging remarks from other traditional leaders but should continue lobbying for development from Government.
Mr Siakachoma said this was not the time for traditional leaders in Southern Province to continue fighting Government and President Lungu because such acts could only lead to delayed development in the region.
“Those that are demonizing Chief Singani should wait for their president to get into Government but for now we have President Lungu who is in the driving seat and he must be supported for his efforts,” Mr Siakachoma said said.