Over 75 Village Headmen who were appointed during former ruling People’s Party (PP) administration in the northern district of Karonga have threatened to take legal action against government for dethroning them.
One of the chiefs Village Headmen Jeremiah told Nyasa Times that they have received communication from the Group Head Man Mponela who is the second head of chiefs from Traditional Authority Wasambo informing them that the district council has directed all heads of chiefs to dethrone all traditional leaders who were appointed during PP regime saying they are not recognized as chiefs.
“It was on Thursday last week when we received communication from Group Village Headman Mponela telling us that they have received the letter from the district council commanding them to fire any chief who was appointed during the PP regime saying that we were illegally appointed which is a sad development to us,” he said.
Adding: “What surprises us so much is that the government is the one telling us that we were illegally appointed while we inherit leadership according to our custom.”
Jeremiah said rumours are rife that all the chiefs who were given chieftainship during the PP leadership will not be receiving honoraria “but that does not worry us because being chiefs we exist to help the community in terms of development and other activities not money from government.”
Principal Group Village Headman Mponela agreed having received the letter claiming that all chiefs appointed during PP government are no longer chiefs.
Karonga Council Director of Administration Geoffrey Mkandawire explained that the letter sent is the reminder to the chief to involve the office of the District Commissioner before appointing any chief.
“We have really sent letters to all chiefs in Karonga but our letter is not saying we have fired the chiefs who were appointed during former ruling party, all we are saying is a reminder to them to involve our office in such cases and that Government will ban every chief who will be appointed without the knowledge of the district council,” said Mkandawire.