Koforidua, Sept.10, GNA- The Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo-Mensah said on Thursday that although government was barred from interfering in chieftaincy issues, it has the mandate to settle disputes that may arise from the institution, to protect lives and property. Dr Osafo-Mensah who was addressing a meeting of the Regional House of Chiefs, in Koforidua, on Thursday, expressed government's appreciation to the efforts by some of the chiefs to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
He asked the House to be proactive in the public campaign for a change in sexual habits such as illicit and unprotected sex especially among the youth to stem the infection rate.
Dr Osafo-Mensah called on the chiefs to help in the campaign towards an incident-free Election 2004.
The Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Justice George Lamptey appealed to the traditional authorities to contribute towards the amendment of the Chieftaincy Act, to meet their expectations.
He urged the chiefs to take advantage of the legal framework, which required them to be consulted on the appointment of one-third of the members of the district assemblies.
The President of the Regional House of Chiefs, Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa III, appealed to the Government to improve the conditions of service of staffers.
He said due to the poor conditions of service, it was only the Eastern Region House of Chiefs that has managed to engage the service of a legal council.
Oseadeeyo Dankwa, said it was a common phenomenon to see most of the Regional Houses of Chiefs and Traditional Councils, still working with outmoded typewriters and broken down furniture.