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Thursday, 5 November 2009

Chiefs and Partisan Politics

A guest blog on the role of chiefs in politics over at the House of Chiefs by Henry Kyambalesa.

I think HK correctly identifies the problem : "I believe very strongly that the partisan stance by some of our chiefs is partly promoted by the subsidies, electrification of palaces and the car loans extended to them through the office of the Republican president".

Some parts of the proposed solutions are also good : "I, therefore, wish to call upon President Banda to initiate, by Executive Order, the removal of public assistance to chiefs from the office of the Republican president and placed under the aegis of the Parliamentary Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs in order to forestall any suspicions that assistance to chiefs is designed to woo their support for the ruling political party during elections".

I also agree with the principal of banning chiefs from partisan politics, under current laws. HK is correct that the laws are there and must be followed. But as I have argued before these laws are opaque and discriminatory. For example, no one really knows what is meant by not engaging in politics. More perspectives on these issues can be found on the on-going blog specials on chiefs and development.