Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has said that traditional ceremonies will continue being important events on the cultural calendar of the nation.
Zambia News and Information Services quoted Mwanawasa as saying this is because traditional ceremonies are an integral part of the oral traditions, folklore and culture of the nation passed on from generation to generation.
In a speech read for him by Labour and Social Security Minister Ronald Mukuma in Chief Bunda Bunda's chiefdom, the president said the cultural events provide the opportunity for children, youth and visitors to assimilate the country's values and beliefs.
The speech was read during the celebrations of the 11th Chibwela Kumushi traditional ceremony of the Soli people in Chongwe District of Lusaka province on Saturday, saying ceremonies enable Zambians to fully participate in culture and heritage of the country instead of the Western and global influences that impact negatively on country's values and beliefs.
Traditional ceremonies also afford the government leaders an opportunity to fraternize with chiefs in order to learn from their wisdom and counsel, the president said, adding that the government leaders can utilize these opportunities to explain its developmental programs in areas such as agriculture, education, health, mining among other.
Mwanawasa has called on traditional rules to take a leading role in keeping their villages clean and green in line with the keep Zambia clean and healthy campaign recently launched.
He appealed to the Royal Highness to ensure that all headmen under their charge take the campaign as their serious responsibility.
Speaking earlier, Chief Bunda Bunda commended the government for taking development to his chiefdom. He, however, appealed to the government to introduce Soli and Lenje on radio so that they become among the seven local languages currently being aired on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and further called on all Solis in Lusaka Province to use Soli at their homes.
Chibwela Kumushi traditional ceremony is celebrated by the Soli people of Chief Bunda Bunda to celebrate the hard work of peasant farmers in the Chiefdom.