PAC rebuke chiefs, governance watchdog adamant on pointing shortfalls

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC), a quasi-religious body and governance watchdog, has told off  traditional leaders in Lilongwe who were mobilised by government to ask the leadership of the grouping to apologise  to President Peter Mutharika and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), for stating they have failed to govern the country.

Fr Mulomole: We will always point out shortfalls

About 18 chiefs from across the country addressed a  news conference at Bridgeview Hotel in Lilongwe on Thursday, led by four  Paramount chiefs, saying the multi-faith organisation  released a statement without consulting Chiefs and the Malawians.

Chiefs took turns to spell out different developmental activities taking place in their local area of jurisdictions.

Chairperson of the chiefs’ committee, Paramount Chief Lundu from Chikwawa said PAC has failed to carry out its intended mandate and the only way forward is that let the form political and join mainstream politics.

He said the grouping has diverted from its roles as a religious grouping and has political motives.

“PAC is misleading Malawians and their efforts to get the President to step down have failed,” Lundu, who slightly drunk, said,

Traditional Authority Sawali from Balaka said Malawi is a peaceful country and accused  PAC of fanning turmoil.

Paramount chief Kyungu said PAC has lost direction, saying the organisation should also chronicle  what Mutharika administration  is doing to uplift  peoples’s lives.

“We are asking PAC to be responsible and don’t give the President unnecessary pressure,” said Kyungu.

Some of the chiefs present at the news conference included  Paramount chief Ngongoliwa from Thyolo, , Senior Chief Kameme from Chitipa. Senior Chief Tsabango from Lilongwe, Senior Chief Dambe from Mchinji, Senior Chief Kalonga from Salima.

Others  were  newly promoted Paramount Chief Kawinga from Machinga; Senior Chief Chikowi from Zomba, Inkosi Makwangwala of Ntcheu.

But PAC publicity secretary Father Peter Mulomole  has said the groupinG will not stop its  watchdog role in pointing failures of government.

Mulumole said the chiefs are wrong to accused PAC of having sinister motives, saying the grouping us not fighting anyone.

“We are within our mandate to pinpoint the failures of those in power , including the opposition,” said Mulomole.

PAC said the country was currently experiencing mediocrity as poverty levels have been deeply entrenched among ordinary citizens.

The grouping accused  the DPP administration and its leadership lack vision to steer the country into prosperity.

PAC  said during the past three years, the DPP administration has failed to fulfil its own manifesto, citing what it described as deep-rooted corruption, fraud and selective justice.

“After a careful examination on incidents of corruption, we note that the DPP administration has been greatly characterised by corrupt practices, financial indiscipline and selective justice,” said PAC chairperson the Reverend Felix Chingota.

He also noted that the DPP continues to embark on selective justice as those who are within and close to the system do not face the wrath of the law.

“This may lead people to conclude that those in leadership especially in the higher echelons of the administration also benefit from the questionable deals that have been revealed to date,” he said.

PAC would be holding the Sixth All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference in May this year where it will ask Malawians to decide the next action as regards the future of the nation.

 

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11 thoughts on “PAC rebuke chiefs, governance watchdog adamant on pointing shortfalls”

  1. Kent Y.G. Mphepo says:

    Countrymen,

    I sometimes shudder when I hear the bad blood between men of the collar and our senior traditional leaders. You see, the latest study by the Dulanis of this world has just shown us how Malawians hold in high esteem these two key players of Malawi’s daily life. Those of you who were born and grew up in the urban areas may not fully appreciate how highly people in the rural areas rate our chiefs and religious leaders. But those of us who grew in the rural areas know and appreciate why the Dulani type studies strike a cord with the worldview of the average Malawian. Just to illustrate my point: chiefs and religious are the first people who are informed whenever a family receives a new baby or loses a member to death.

    In Chewaland, where I come from, no one is allowed to shed a tear at a loss of a family member before the chief of the village is informed and comes into the siwa “kudzakhuza maliro”. This is mainly because, in Chewa worldview, death is the beginning of a new journey – a journey to another world – the world of the departed forefathers who are believed to have a final say on who lives in this world and who leaves this world through death. The chief is believed to be the gateway to that world – the world of the departed ancestors. It is only vital, therefore, that he, the chief must come into the siwa to confirm death (the gateway to the world of the ancestors) and announce it to people inside and outside the village. People who are still in the world of the living.

    On the other hand, religious leaders also play a similar role in the lives of most people. Since the Christian faith (the commonest religion in Chewaland) teaches that death is the beginning of a new life through Jesus Christ (for Christians who are in majority in Malawi), it is only proper that men of the collar must preside over the death of the departed Christian. The pastor is regarded as the gateway between the church infantuary (Christians on earth) and the church triumphant (Christians at the seat of God in Heaven). In the Catholic Church in particular, the “Father” (priest) has powers to pray that God forgives the sins of the deceased and receives the soul of the departed person into his glorious bosom in Heaven. Presbyterians, one of whom I am, reject this of course although the laymen cannot easily tell the difference between Catholicism and Presbyterianism. In Chewaland, the church minister and the chief are, therefore, two sides of the same coin. If a person is not a Christian (e.g. ngati anali wachikunja or wanyau in his life, maliro ake amakhala a mfumu. The chief presides over his/her funeral process. But if the deceased person was a Christian, maliro ake amakhala a mpingo. Agule ndi mafumu sakhalapo ndi mphamvu apart from kutsegula manda – the place where the spirits of the ancestor dwell on earth – normally the place where the dambwe is situated too.

    Why am I saying all this? Some may ask. Simple. Traditional leaders (chiefs such as Lundu, Kaomba, Jalasi, Kyungu, etc) and religious leaders such as those that form the Public Affairs Committee (Chingota, Mulomole, Saindi, etc), are the most revered and trusted leaders among the majority of the Malawian people – particularly in villages. And those who have studied African worldviews will agree with me that this is true in almost all African societies. Traditional and religious leaders are two sides of the same coin. Africans respect their religious leaders and their traditional leaders. This explains why colonialists used these two groups of people to control Africans from the late 1800s up to the 1960s. It also explains why colonial governments in Malawi and most parts of Africa made sure that there was bad blood between religious leaders and traditions leaders. Divide and rule, you know! Westerners believed that the best way to control African people was to get one of the two groups fight one with another. It was also true during the one-party state Africa just as it is also true in the multi-party Africa.

    In Malawi history, two examples come to mind. Sir Harry Johnson’s deposing of Chief Tambala a Yao Chief of Mangochi (after he had tried to do the same without much success with Chiefs Jalasi, Mponda and Makanjira) and the deposition and deportation to Zomba of Chief Chimtunga Jere of Mzimba (when he refused to recruit people in his Mzimba district to carry white people on machila in 1915 (paradoxically the year when John Chilembwe, a religious leader – Christian minister – trained at Blantyre Mission and in America, had also rebelled against the white rule in Chiradzulo and was up in arms against them)). On both occasions (in Mangochi and Mzimba) people (Africans) refused to recognize the colonial-planted stooges as their chiefs. And the colonialists met the shock of their lives when both deposed chiefs Tambala and Chimtunga Jere were recognized by their subjects as their rightful chiefs immediately they resurfaced in their districts from wherever they had been banished to by the white government!

    Same stories can also be told of how colonialists failed to silence religious leaders of the three great missionary movements in Nyasaland when they tried to stop them from commenting on issues of bad governance in their local societies and Malawi at large. HIstory is replete with incidents when Rev. Scot of Blantyre Mission in Southern Malawi; Andrew/William Murray of Dutch Reformed Church in Central Malawi; and Robert Laws of Livingstonia Mission in Northern Malawi went up in arms against governors in Zomba on matters of bad governance and abuse of people’s rights.

    On the other hand, it was chiefs such as Phillip Gomani of Ntcheu, Mwase of Kasungu, Makanjira of Mangochi, M’mbelwa of Mzimba, Katumbi of Rumphi, Chikumbu of Mulanje, Kumtaja of Blantyre, Masula of Lilongwe who were in the forefront in the fight for this country’s independence. Some of them travelled to London in July 1960 to participate in Malawi’s Lancaster Constitutional Conference. And when Western educated African elite (most of whom had been trained in mission schools and colleges) arose to fight for African independence from colonial power (among them Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Mkhrumah, Seretse Khama, Kenneth Kaunda, our own Kamuzu Banda, Anuwar Sadat) it was chiefs and missionaries who mobilized the masses on their behalf. Church leaders created what is called “liberation theology” in support of the freedom of the African people. Whenever chiefs spoke people listened. Whenever missionaries and ministers spoke, people listened. In Malawi, for example, Dr. Banda, himself a Presbyterian church elder, enjoyed support from across religious and traditional leadership. Within a year of his arrival, the country became ungovernable because chiefs and churchmen were in the forefront of his battle. Actually, it was the church and chiefs who anchored his 31-year rule. They portrayed him as a “messiah” for the people of Malawi!. Simply put, It was the church and chiefs that helped him to keep the “rebels”: Kanyama, Chipembele, Bwanausi, etc at bay. They made sure that Dr. Banda was held in high esteem by everybody from Nsanje to Chitipa.

    And loh! and behold! it was religious leaders and chiefs that supported the multiparty movement in 1992 to lobby for a referendum and even to win general elections in 1994. My question is: how sure is the DPP government that the chiefs that are being paraded daily on MBC to castigate church leaders are genuinely fighting against church leaders? Are these chiefs the most powerful in the country that they can be sure that they command a majority support in the population? In other words, are these the chiefs that the majority of Malawians are currently listening to? Do people really hold these chiefs in high esteem? Historically, between chiefs and religious leaders, who are more trusted among Malawians? Has any government won a war against religious leaders or chiefs? If I may ask: on which side are the Catholic Bishops on current matters? On which side are majority of the Presbyterians and Muslims? Chakwera, himself a church minister, is daily talked and castigated on MBC and in all political rallies organized by the DPP. How do Malawians take it? Are they for him or Peter a lawyer by training? Important questions I think.

    There are particularly important questions now that the Dulani Opinion poll says that Malawians trust religious leaders more than traditional leaders and any other form of leadership in the country including members of Councillors, Parliamentarians and the Presidency. And a the time when the most important enemy of the regime is a church minister. Just my wild thinking. Food for thought for all of us.

    Kent Y.G. Mphepo – Blantyre 0888435629

  2. Pension Nenereko says:

    A bunch of fools kuchotsa masazi a DPP – the reality prevails whatever

  3. santana says:

    PAC says will in May ask Malawians what action to take. Doesn’t PAC know that Malawians are constitutionally given a mandate to decide on their govt after every five years? That is why we say these two people of the religious grouping is being manipulated by opposition politicians. Let me warn PAC that the worst gathering ever held by the group is the one to be held in May. You are going there with a total crush because people have already known the bad motive of the group. And this is the year the group has experienced big divisions within itself. PAC better just postpone the meeting or let them go ahead and face the embarrassment. Mulomole has commented on chiefs’ meeting just to save face. They know that their statement has received negative response from outside and from within itself. PAC of today!!!!!!

  4. Meke says:

    Foolish chiefs. I hope Mzimba chiefs were not there.

  5. CHITEKWE says:

    WHICH CHIEFS KYUNGU,LUNDU IDIOTS AND PUPPETS OF DPP DONT EVEN WASTE OUR TIME PAC COMMENTS IS WITHIN THEIR MANDATE AND AS A WATCH DOING THEY ARE AT LIBERTY TO COMMENT ON SHORTFALLS THE ONLY PROBLEM MALAWIANS YOU SHOULD KNOW IS YOU HAVE AN IDIOT PRESIDENT ASK THOSE WHO HAS WORKED WITH HIM HE DOESNT THINK PROPERLY THATS WHY HE LISTENS TO HIS NYAPAPI MINISTERS.DPP HAS COMPLETELY FAILED,BY THE WAY THE RIGGED THE ELECTION

    1. CHITEKWE says:

      kkkkkkkkk musova

  6. Mike Mulumbe says:

    my question to chingota is were Malaians better off 2, 3 ,4 years ago and that now their poverty levels have suddenly gone into the abyss all over sudden. when there was massive plunder of public coffers, when the plane was sold and returns unaccounted for, when maise from the silos was used for campaign during JB era, PAC ESPECIALLY THE ZOMBA REVEREND WAS SILENT. what can stop people from suspecting sinister motives of the religious grouping. MULUNGU achulukitse masiku owona zowawa mmoyo wanu mmoyo uno ngakhale ulinkudzawo AMEN

  7. Douglas Ndindi says:

    You want to know what I think? This is Malawi, so quote my silence!

  8. Apao Kugola says:

    Shame on the chiefs. They have proven what a useless bunch of drunkards they are.

  9. Baba Puludzu says:

    This country is in a mess coz of these chiefs. Mbava zachabechabe izi

  10. biggy says:

    Shame on PAC! I miss the PAC of the 1990s not these dunderheads.

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