PRESIDENT Michael Sata yesterday met 13 chiefs from North-Western, two from Lusaka and two from Eastern provinces at State House in a closed door meeting.
Senior chief Ndungu of Zambezi, Senior Chief Sikufele of Kabompo, Senior Chief Mujimanzovu of Solwezi, Senior Chief Kalilele of Solwzei, Chief Chizela of Mufumbwe, Chief Ntambu of Mwinilunga and Chief Mumena were some of the 17 traditional leaders who attended the meeting.
Others were Chieftainess Nyakuleng'a of Zambezi, Chieftaness Ikeleng'I of Ikeleng'I, and Chief Chikola of Solewzi, Chief Mulonga and Chief Munsaka of Solwezi.
From Lusaka Province Senior Chief Mburuma and Chief Mphuka all of Luangwa District attended the meeting. Chiefs Mbangombe and Khathumba both of Katete district were also in attendance.
Deputy Ministers of Traditional Affairs Susan Kawandami, for Tourism David Phiri, for Education Patrick Ngoma, North-Western Province Minister Steven Masumba and his Permanent Secretary Augustine Seyuba were also part of the meeting.
And in a press statement, President Sata's Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations George Chellah said during the meeting that the traditional leaders thanked the President for the opportunity availed to them to discuss several matters pertaining to the welfare of Zambia.
They pledged total support to President Sata's administration in pursuit of the country's development agenda.
They expressed gratitude to the to the Head of State for establishing the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and appointing opposition MMD Members of Parliament as deputy ministers in the PF Government.
The chiefs requested Mr Sata to address the various challenges facing their chiefdoms especially in sectors such as education, infrastructure, health and the road networks.
They said Mr Sata should initiate and finance tangible capital projects in their provinces and expedite the electrification and provision of mobile telephone network to their palaces.
In response, President Sata assured the chiefs that the PF Government is determined to ensure that resources are allocated to all areas of needy countrywide.
President Sata emphasised the need for constant engagements between the Government and the traditional leadership in Zambia.
"You [traditional leaders] are a vital component in the governance of the country and there is a lot we can achieve together if we develop a culture of constant interaction. This is your place so feel free to submit your proposals and suggestions as and when need arises.
"As a person who fully understands and appreciates tradition and culture, I am convinced that our chiefs will only be respected by the general populace if we the politicians look after them accordingly," President Sata said.