President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has approved Joseph Bongololo Gondwe as Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe of the Tumbuka Tribe.
The approval is effective March 7, 2022, according to the letter Secretary for Local Government Charles Makanga has written to the District Commissioner for Rumphi.
Makanga says following the approval, the royal family can now start preparations for the installation ceremony.
“You should also ensure that the Paramount Chief is inserted on the Chief’s Payroll accordingly,” reads the letter dated March 10, 2022.
The Chikulamayembe chieftaincy has been in and out of court, as families fought over who was the rightful heir to the throne.
Mtima Walter Gondwe has been battling for the kingship and, at one time, assumed the position of the Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe.
However, the High Court in Mzuzu dethroned him in April 2021 on grounds that his appointment was constitutional and unprocedural.
In his ruling then, Judge Thomson Ligowe said the erstwhile President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika erred in appointing and installing Mtima Gondwe – who is son to the departed Paramount Chikulamayembe – as the king of the Tumbuka people.
Bongololo Gondwe had argued through his lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta that the chieftaincy rotates among 12 royal families of Mkupa, Juwaunini, Chiwozga, Bwanti, Bamantha, Chakanda, Chikulamasinda, Mzakwacha, Bongololo, Khalapamhanya, Mjuma and Chiyeka and that it was now the turn for the Bongololo.