The controversial Paramount Chief Lundu of Chikwawa openely told the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa that government had no part in sorting out chieftaincy wrangles that have rocked some parts of the country.
Lundu made the remarks during a full council meeting which took place at Chikwawa Secondary School.
The Paramount Chief told the gathering in the presence of the minister that leadership was in the blood and not government hence it would smoothly be solved by the relations, adding government took advantage of the wrangles and that it delayed process.
“We as local leaders need to see to it that chieftaincy wrangles were handled by us because it’s a blood thing and government cannot do anything. I am always surprised that these issues are going to the courts where only the rich take advantage and are favoured because of their riches. That is why I say government must leave issues surrounding local leadership in the hands of the local people. At least in such issues get a feedback from the relations who are custodians of the leadership at local level,” pointed out Lundu.
He also asked the minister as to which ministry the chiefs belonged to, saying “which one is our line ministry because we have Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture where we chiefs are within the culture itself and we have the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development which we also are told we belong to.
“At least give us one ministry that we will directly link with. Set up one ministry such as Ministry of Chiefs because we are confused and all we need is a full minister responsible for the chiefs because to my understanding the ministry for local government and rural development is for the members of parliament and councilors.”
He said the confusion that chiefs feel in such scenario negatively affect their operations adding that they were neglected in other issues where they become voiceless but said officials must keep to mind that chiefs were there, have been there and they will always be there.
The controversial local leader further stated that government was supposed to trade carefully in issues of land in the country citing that foreigners were grabbing land from the local people for their personal gains such as farming while pointing out that it was needed if government empowered the local Malawians with skill and expertise to do such on their own.
He also talked of a Shire River Basin Management Program which the chief said it was only in papers and not on the ground.
“The people of the Shire Valley are now tired of the Shire River Basin Management Program thing. It is not baring any fruits and we see nothing on the ground. The thing is in papers and those doing it are busy parting, workshops and the like. If we don’t change poverty will never end up until we change our mindset,” he said.
On his part, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa said government only endorsed as chiefs the names suggested by the loyal families.
“Chieftaincy wrangles are an issue of concern and are common in the country and as a ministry all we would ask you to do is to end these wrangles because you are in a better position for that so that we enjoy the peace and harmony.
“If we keep infighting due to chieftaincy we can’t develop because you are custodians of development,” said Nankhumwa.
While commending the observation by Lundu on controversies surrounding the ministry where chiefs belonged to, the minister said all chiefs belonged to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and ‘Culture’.
He then called on the local leaders to give full support to President Peter Mutharika saying there would always be one leader at a time.
“There is one president at a time so let’s give him maximum support so that what his government has planned to do, can be achieved positively.”
During the same full council meeting, Chief Kasisi of Chikwawa told the gathering that he sold a vast land earmarked for construction of a new district hospital.
The Chief openly told the minister that he sold the land to people to construct their houses because government has for a long time failed to implement the project.
It took the District Commissioner Bester Mandere who came in assuring the minister that the council will handle the matter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :