Kyungu royal family not moved with govt boycott

The installation of Clement Kapote Mwakasungula as Paramount Chief Kyungu 24th of Karonga district proceeded smoothly on Saturday despite a complete boycott of the occasion by government representatives.

The colorful and memorable occasion took place at the royal family’s headquarters, Kasoba, in AB Mwakasungula village as per Ngonde tradition and the family members said they were not moved at all with government stay away.

Government, through the Principal Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development Kester Kaphaizi announced in a statement it would not preside over the ceremony because the clan breached state laws and Ngonde culture in the manner in which they appointed the heir to the throne.

The clan appointed Clement Mwakasungula following the death of Paramount Chief Kyungu 23rd, real name Lucky Mwanyongo, on July 22, 2011.
Colourful ceremony; New Paramount Kyungu at the installation

But government, in a statement dated 20h October 2011, indicated that the minister (local government and rural development) will not preside over the ceremony because the royal family did not communicate the name of the heir to Karonga District Commissioner who later forwards it to the minister as stipulated in the Chiefs Act.

But representative of the royal family, Mpeta Mwakasungula, stated that government’s decision not to grace the ceremony did not affect them in any way.

“The clan is glad the event went on as expected. The entire process from selection of the heir to the installation and the subsequent celebrations was procedural and in line with our Ngonde culture,” explained Mpeta.

Government has not yet reacted to the Kyungu’s decision to go ahead with the installation despite being told to put it on hold first to sort out the issue.

And indeed as expected, the 67-year-old new Paramount Chief Kyungu was installed at a vibrant and remarkable event that was among others attended by Senior Chiefs of Kameme and Mwenemisuku of Chitipa district.

Other senior attendees to the function included politicians former cabinet minister and MP and renowned lawyer Bazuka Mhango, AFORD MP for the area Khwauli Msiska, senior representatives of the Catholic Church and the Livingstonia Synod.

The tussle between the government and the Kyungu royal family started early October 2011 when Senior Chief Kalonga wrote the District Commissioner arguing against the appointment of Clement Mwakasungula, a former President Bingu wa Mutharika advisor on Non Governmental Organisations and UDF parliamentary candidate in the 2009 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections.

Basing on difference in understanding of the correct Ngonde constitution, the Senior Chief argued that the appointment had contravened their constitution and the Chiefs Acts in appointing and installing a new chief.

The development compelled the District Commissioner for Karonga Gasten Macheka to advise the royal family to put on hold all arrangements as regards to the installation and celebrations of the new Kyungu.

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