The Government says it will soon provide funeral and medical assistance to village heads as some of them cannot afford medical care.
This was revealed by the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Marian Chombo in Parliament on Wednesday while responding to questions on the welfare of village heads. She said:
As a Ministry, with our department of traditional leadership, we have measures in place that make sure we assist traditional leaders.
However, I would want to point out that the type of assistance that we give mainly targets the chiefs.
Village heads are being given allowances and these allowances as of now do not include funeral assistance.
We envisage that very soon we should be in a position to assist as regards funeral and medical assistance.
Some of our village heads cannot access medical facilities because they do not have the resources.
Chombo explained that traditional leadership had three tiers. The first tier is made up of chiefs selected by the community and appointed by the President.
The second tier is that of the headman, who is appointed by the chief and their name is submitted to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works who does the vetting. Added Chombo:
Then the village head is appointed in most cases by the headman or the chief and we will just be given the names but we are not the ones who install these village heads.
The headman and the village head earn different salaries. We are trying at the moment that the village heads also get good perks, as the headman and the chief.
Chombo also said the ministry was still waiting for legislation to come through Parliament so that chieftainships that were not resuscitated at the end of the liberation struggle can be revived.