JB lauds chiefs’ role in development, elevates Mponda: Malawi pictorial

Traditional chiefs in Malawi deserve total respect because they are catalysts of social and economic development of the nation, President Joyce Banda said.

Speaking on Saturday during the official elevation ceremony of Senior Chief Mponda at his Headquarters in Mangochi, President Banda said chiefs provide the significant link between the government and the governed – the people.

“They are the eyes of the government. Without them, no government can meaningfully manage to change for the better the lives of the citizens,” she emphasized.

The Head of State encouraged all Malawians regardless of their political inclination, to respect traditional chiefs with a view to upholding traditional values and customs.

The Senior Chief presents gifts to the Head of State

The Senior Chief presents gifts to the Head of State

The President bemoaned the poor state of infrastructure at Senior Chief Mponda’s Headquarters, citing the Senior Chief’s small house which is in a dilapidated state.

She pledged to change the status quo, a pledge that immediately found credence in a cash donation of K500, 000 and a refrigerator to the elevated traditional leader’s family.

President Banda noted with sadness that the Mponda chieftaincy is one of the most enduring chieftaincies in Malawi that have suffered deprivation and victimization by former governments.

The Head of State assured the elevated Chief that her administration shall ensure that the chieftaincy enjoys equal recognition and respect as all other chieftaincies across the country.

The remarks by the Malawi leader settle all doubt that her detractors have in the last few days fruitlessly tried to sow in the minds of the people that President Banda had abdicated on her commitment to give due regard to traditional leaders following what is emerging to have been a staged missing of T/A Bvumbwe.

Critics have been accusing President Banda of causing the disappearance of the Bvumbwe chief, because, according to the peddlers of the allegations, the Head of State must have been peeved with the chief’s speech against using funerals for political gain.

As it has turned to be, President Banda was in agreement with the chief because, as a home grown leader, she understands the reverence that has to be attached to bereavement.

“I am not angry with the chief. I have nothing against him,” assured President, distancing herself and her party from allegations that the chief went missing under their seal.

“He is a chief that needs help. I have nothing against him,” President Banda emphasized.

T/A Bvumbwe is reported to have emerged from his disappearance Saturday morning and he was yet to disclose where he had been.

Mponda chieftaincy

The Mponda chieftaincy originates from northern Mozambique. The first Mponda was Che Mambo who died in 1809; then there came Makunganya I; then came the third Mponda, Makunganya II who died in 1975. The current Senior Mponda is Namwejeka Bwanali who became chief in 1979. He was born in 1934.

Some of the dignitaries at the ceremony included the Vice President Khumbo Kachali, Leader of opposition and MCP

President John Tembo, Local Government Minister Grace Maseko, cabinet ministers, UDF parliamentarian from the area, Clement Chiwaya, the governing People’s Party national executive committee members and religious leaders, among others.

JB conducts the symbolic elevation of the Senior Chief Mponda

JB conducts the symbolic elevation of the Senior Chief Mponda

The Leader of Opposition and President of the MCP John Tembo was also there and here he greets JB

The Leader of Opposition and President of the MCP John Tembo was also there and here he greets JB

The Acting Chief Justice Anastanzia Msosa was also there

The Acting Chief Justice Anastanzia Msosa was also there

Akamwile band were there to entertain the people

Akamwile band were there to entertain the people

Part of the crowd at Senior Chief Mponda's Headquarters listen to their leader President Joyce Banda

Part of the crowd at Senior Chief Mponda’s Headquarters listen to their leader President Joyce Banda

The chiefs' wives are dressed in the ruling PP cloth during the ceremony

The chiefs’ wives are dressed in the ruling PP cloth during the ceremony

Other traditional leaders were also there to witness the elevation of Senior Chief Mponda

Other traditional leaders were also there to witness the elevation of Senior Chief Mponda

JB greets UDF parliamentarian for the area Dr Clement Chiwaya

JB greets UDF parliamentarian for the area Dr Clement Chiwaya

JB shares light moments with parliamentarian Yusuf Matumula on her arrival

JB shares light moments with parliamentarian Yusuf Matumula on her arrival

PP enthusiasts wave a seal of approval for the Head of State in the midst of her speech

PP enthusiasts wave a seal of approval for the Head of State in the midst of her speech

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