Jooma assures new Mangochi chief of Malawi govt backing

Dust has finally settled down at Nkope in Mangochi district after Samson Naoza was finally installed Group Village Headman (GVH) Chiwalo V with government assuring him of its full backing.

Installation of the new chief was nearly stopped by another party that had gone to District Commissioner’s (DC) office a day before the event to prevent him from being inducted.

The disgruntled group, led by George Nswala, a Headmaster at Mponda’s Primary School, wanted Nelson Mbella to be given the throne but after discussions that involved both parties and officials  from the DC’s office, T/A Nankumba and other Chewa chiefs in Mangochi, they settled for Naoza.

Both Naoza and Mbella are sons to sisters of the late Walesi Nswala (GVH Chiwalo 1V), who passed away in November 2011.

Ralph Jooma addressing the gathering during the ceremony.-Photo By Lucky Mkadawire/Nyasa Times

Ralph Jooma addressing the gathering during the ceremony.-Photo By Lucky Mkadawire/Nyasa Times

Ironically, Nswala is also on record to have led a group that delayed the installation of T/A Nankumba for about six years as he fought his instatement before the High Court ruled that the current T/A (real name Welemu) was the rightful heir to the throne.

The installation ceremony, which took place at GVH Chiwalo V’s headquarters at Nkope over the weekend, was presided over by T/A Nankumba.

Several senior government officials, notably minister of economic planning and development, Ralph Jooma, secretary of education, Lonley Magaleta, representatives from the Mangochi DC’s office including traditional leaders, attended the event.

Speaking during the ceremony, Minister of economic planning and development Ralph Jooma advised the new chief to work with the government for the benefit of his area.

He pointed out that he wanted development that was synonymous with the Chiwalo chieftaincy to resume in the area and urged people to recognize and work with the new youthful chief.

Echoing T/A Nankumba who spoke earlier, Jooma said there was only one leader at a time and for that of GVH Chiwalo V, it was Naoza.

“What makes me happy today is that I can foresee development projects coming up now because as we all bear witness there has been no development since the death of GVH Chiwalo 1V.

“In Samson Naoza I see this area getting various developments and peoples’ welfare being uplifted. So let’s all work hand in hand with our chief and the current government so that we enjoy the good fruits of his rule,” said Jooma, who is also Member of Parliament for Mangochi-Monkey Bay.

In an exclusive interview, Jooma said he attended the function to assure the newly installed chief that he had his full blessings and that of government.

On the wrangle, the minister said GVH Chiwalo V’s case was not isolated but “was happy that finally someone had been installed in line with the Chewa tradition.”

“It is high time we started to embrace each other and uphold decisions made by those trusted to choose leaders,” he said.

The minister was also quick to advise the new chief to accommodate everyone and disregard events that cuddled the process leading to the installation ceremony.

“Forget and forgive whatever happened prior to the installation ceremony. Accommodate all those who were against you to show that you do not have any grudges against them,” he said.

In an interview with Nyasa Times, GVH Chiwalo V said he held no grudges against his detractors, who did not even witness the installation ceremony.

“I do not hold grudges with anyone. And as a traditional leader I am a parent to everyone. That is now water under the bridge,” said the new chief.

The installation ceremony was initially scheduled for May 4 but was postponed because on the same day President Joyce Banda was installing Senior Chief Mponda in the same district.

Jooma walked into Parliament in 2009 on an independent ticket and worked as deputy minister of health and population under the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

He was among the first people to be appointed into the Joyce Banda’s maiden cabinet (deputy minister of finance) before earning a promotion to head the economic planning and development ministry where he replaced the much-revered Goodal Gondwe who resigned.

GVH Chiwalo V and wife following the proceedings.-Photo by lucky Mkandawire/Nyasa Times

GVH Chiwalo V and wife following the proceedings.-Photo by lucky Mkandawire/Nyasa Times

Young girls spicing up the installation ceremony with their enticing dancing skills.

Young girls spicing up the installation ceremony with their enticing dancing skills.-Photo by Lucky Mkandawire/Nyasa Times

The event was not only attended by the locals Europeans were also there in solidarity. Photos by Lucky Mkandawire.

The event was not only attended by the locals Europeans were also there in solidarity. Photos by Lucky Mkandawire.

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