Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture Richard Chimwendo Banda has hailed President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for recognizing traditional leaders as the key partners in development and national building.
Chimwendo was speaking in Lilongwe today at the first National Chiefs Forum on Natural Resources Management and Transition to Sustainable Agricultural and Livelihoods in Malawi that was held at the Lilongwe Botanic Garden.
In his remarks, Chimwendo said, it is only president Chakwera who is is investing in supporting and strengthening the traditional leadership institution in the country by involving them in critical development projects that are taking place in the country.
“We can not make any development in this country without involving traditional leaders in decision making process as they are critical to socioeconomic transformation as they have primary control over their subjects and for that reason, they are in better position to protect and defend the natural resources that exist in their jurisdictions,” said Chimwendo Banda who is also leader of government business in Parliament.
Chimwendo also thanked Chakwera for increasing the honoraria of chiefs in country.
In his remarks, Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change, Dr Michael Usi said from now onwards, his ministry will be working with chiefs through the forum to deal with illegal charcoal production through production of bamboos and mass production of briquettes to act as alternative sources of fuel and flood the markets at a cheaper price.
According to Inkosi Ya Makosi Gomani V, chiefs have developed a call to action, expressing their commitment towards protecting and sustaining the environment by among others, establishing by-laws, dealing with encroachment in protected forests, sensitising communities on sustainable agriculture and soil conservation, protecting water resources and promoting regeneration of forest resources.
Speaking earlier, Chairperson of the main organising committee, Professor Sosten Chiotha said chiefs need to protect the environment for it’s sustainability and ensure that future generations benefit from it.