Minister of Local government Kondwani Nankhumwa has installed Goodwin Chiwiwi Mwasi as chief Kabunduli of Nkhata Bay after 11 years of chieftaincy wrangles in the area.
The coronation ceremony took place on Monday at Senior Chief Kabunduli’s headquarters at Mzenga in Nkhata Bay District
Nankhumwa installed the 59 year-old on at a ceremony attended by high-level government officials, political, civic and traditional leaders.
“This is a relief to the people who have stayed for 11 years without a traditional leader, this denied them development because the people did not have representation at the civic level,” said the minister.
However, there are still vacancies for three more chieftaincy positions in the district as their issues are now pending in the courts.
Nankhumwa said royal families should learn to resolve their differences amicably.
President Peter Mutharika recently said royal families should always engage in talks rather than taking chieftaincy wrangles to courts, saying this delays the whole process of installing a new traditional leader.
Goodwell Mwasi was chosen as the rightful heir to the throne following the death of his father, Senior Chief Kabunduli in 2007.
Another Kabunduli clan earlier obtained a court injunction restraining Mwasi from assuming the throne, insisting the heir should come from their clan.
Led by Jessie Chimbumba, an aunt to Mwasi, they claim the Kabundulis are Chewa, hence they should follow a matrilineal succession system when the chief dies or is incapacitated.
The High Court in Mzuzu ruled that Mwasi is the rightful heir to the throne.
To minimise chieftaincy wrangles in Nkhata Bay, traditional leaders in the districts have settled for sons and daughters as rightful heirs to thrones.
Senior Chief Mkumbira said said the system of nephews being heirs to a throne was not good because the Tonga culture follows a patrilineal system where sons are more powerful than nephews.
He said: “We pay lobola [dowry] to the wife’s parents and the woman comes to the man’s house… What we used to follow in the past was Chewa tradition where nephews are heirs to thrones.
“But when one dies, the laws of Malawi are clear that children should inherit the wealth of their father and similarly, the throne is wealth. You cannot give chieftaincy to an outsider as the throne is like wealth.”
Mkumbira said the reason Tonga chieftaincies were given to nephews was because “royal families wanted to prevent their children from participating in war”; hence, putting nephews on thrones to lead the army to war.
The Tonga fought with the Ngonis in 1890s and one of the famous battle was fought at Lwana Latonga in Nkhata Bay.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :