Malawi government authorities have move in to clarify on the ongoing chieftaincy wrangle between the Ngomano and the Wilson villages of southern district of Thyolo District which forced the Ngomano villagers deposed the Wilson chieftaincy a few years ago and placed the Wilson area under its authority.
A statement from Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development signed by the ministry’s spokesperson Maganizo Mazeze which Nyasa Times possess says the chieftaincy wrangle between the two clans were resolved last year soon after President Joyce Banda took over power in April.
Mazeze says the government reversed the decision to depose the Wilson village in May 2012 and the chieftaincy feud was consequently concluded after the Wilson villagers reclaimed their territory of authority.
“The general public ought to know that the current conflict in Thyolo is no longer a chieftaincy issue. It is a personal issue amongst the Ngomano clan members. The displaced people, who are part of the Ngomano clan and have been seeking shelter at Bvumbwe, are in conflict with some members of their clan on what we are meant to believe are family issues. It is this other group of the Ngomano clan led by a Mr Kapanga that has stood its ground against the return of the destitute members of the family,” Mazeze says.
He says his ministry has engaged the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, the Department of Disaster Management and Civil Society Organisations in its mediation efforts but the family members inconceivably are failing to reconcile with each other.
“Further to such efforts, the Ministry identified a piece of land at Makande in the same district to relocate the displaced people while efforts to resolve the matter continue. The District Commissioner for Thyolo Mr Bennet Nkasala signed an agreement with the displaced people on 12th August, 2013 to temporarily relocate them to Makande. Mr Elenimo Fabiano Tchenzi and Ms Alice Rabison signed on behalf of the displaced people. However, the people negated on the agreement without giving reasons to the DC, even after Government procured foodstuffs and arranged transport to take them to the new place.”
He therefore says the ministry is shocked with the prolonged situation and the despicable condition in which the displaced villagers live in.
Mazeze also says the ministry equally finds it incomprehensible that members of the same clan can engage in such criminal attacks against each other to the extent of alienating blood relatives from their ancestral land in such a manner.
“The ministry further wants to clearly state that the current conflict in Ngomano is no longer a chieftaincy issue, but rather a deep-rooted and extremely complex family matter that can best be resolved by the family members themselves. The Ministry strongly condemns acts of violence perpetrated against each other by the concerned members of the Ngomano clan and is calling for reconciliation between the two sides of the conflict” says Mazeze.
He however says his ministry through the Thyolo District Council’s office will not relent in mediating in the conflict until a plausible and lasting solution is achieved and that peace returns to the area.