PRESIDENT Michael Sata has called for an end to the increased cases of succession wrangles that have rocked several chiefdoms in Zambia after the death of a chief.
Mr Sata said the wrangles being witnessed in some chiefdoms impacted negatively on development delivery because a lot of time was spent on conflict resolution instead of developmental issues.
He said this yesterday at the burial of late Chief Choongo of the Tonga speaking people in Bweengwa Constituency in Monze District.
"It's my Government's appeal and prayer that the royal family exercises wisdom and patience in the selection of a successor to the Choongo throne," he said.
Chief Choongo, a police officer by profession was born in 1917. He died on Sunday at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka and was put to rest at the palace gravel yard.
In a speech read for him by Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu, Mr Sata said Government was saddened with the death of Chief Choongo hence the need for people to mourn him with utmost respect and dignity.
The chief leaves behind a wife and an undisclosed number of children. He ascended to the throne on July 27, 1971 but was recognised as Chief Choongo of the Tonga speaking people of Nteme area of Monze District on July 10, 1972 by then President Kenneth Kaunda.
At the same occasion, Chief Monze commended Government for the massive support during the illness and subsequent death of Chief Choongo.
He appealed to the royal family members to remain united and act in a peaceful atmosphere especially during the selection of a successor to the late Chief.
United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema hailed Government for honouring the chief, adding that people should remain peaceful and work in harmony.
Scores of UPND cadres jostled to the main arena where Mr Lungu and other senior Government officials sat chanting party slogans, a move which forced Seventh Day Adventist provincial senior pastor Edward Mudenda to briefly stop delivering his sermon.
Upon realising the seemingly unruly behaviour from some cadres, Southern Province Police Chief Charity Katanga who sat next to Mr Lungu directed some police officers to control them.