Malawi’s Paramount Ngoni chief M’mbelwa dies: Tributes pour in

Ngoni Chief Inkosi M’mbelwa 1V who was admitted to Kamuzu Central Hospital last week has died.

According to ministry of Local government spokesperson Maganizo Mazeze, M’mbelwa IV has died few hours ago at Mwaiwanthu  Private Hospital in Blantyre in the commercial city of Blantyre.

“On the burial arrangements, we are waiting for the family to give us a program,” Mazeze said.

Doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital and Mwaiwathu confirmed the death of Mbelwa, a cultural influence over the Ngoni and Tumbuka people, who was battling with diabetes and hypertension.

On the morning of Tuesday, there was heavy police presence at Mwaiwathu and inside sources suspected that President Joyce Banda was going there.

Chief Mbelwa has gone into deep sleep
Chief Mbelwa has gone into deep sleep

“The Ngoni paramount Chief has indeed gone into deep sleep,” Kondwani Munthali, Vice President’s Khumbo Kachali’s spokesperson wrote on Misa-Malawi media forum.

Vice President visited Mbelwa last week at KCH.

Earlier on Saturday morning Tim Shawa said on Bayethe Umzimba, the Facebook group for Mzimba originated people, that“Umzimba wonke!… indeed zintombi na madoda na mafana wonke… I confirm that his Royal Highness Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa IV is admitted to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH). LET US PRAY FOR HIM. Bayethe Inkosi ya Makhosi! Phembeli umzimba Hamba kanye kauyeyiwe!!! Sibongile ba kwaZulu!”

And it was only on Sunday morning when kinsman Mabulabo Jere, posted in the group that: ‘Inkosi ya Makosi is quickly recovering went there at Mwaiwathu, we charted at length.’

He quotes the deceased Ngoni leader as having said: “Angoni don’t get much worried. Nichilenge ine just pray for me.”(Ngoni’s don’t get worried. It is nature for me just pray for me).

Meanwhile, condolences have started to flood in from all quarters of the Malawian and neighboring sympathizers and people of all walks of life.

President Joyce Banda, paying her last respects a few minutes ago at the college of Medicine where the body has been taken for embalming, said: “Everybody in this country knew what his role was all about. We have lost a son, who knew what to do to lead the people of the Ngoni and the nation. Everybody would learn he worked with the govt of the day. He worked with Kamuzu Banda, Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika, and my administration diligently.”

“Am discussing with government that he gets the funeral he deserves as a paramount chief,” she said, adding she has had several meetings and discussions with the Chief, including when he led Ngoni chiefs to State house when she just assumed power.

Chairperson of Chewa Heritage, former vice president Justin Malewezi, said: “Sad news to us all as Malawians. It’s a great loss to traditional leadership of Malawi.”

Joviter Mwaulemu said: “Hamba Kahle Inkosi Ya Makosi Mmbelwa the IV. Mzimba has lost.”

The district of Mzimba comprises a number of Traditional Authorities from the Ngoni people. The head of these Traditional Authorities, or Paramount Chief (Inkosi ya Makosi), is M’Mbelwa IV.

Blogger Peter Qeko Jere writes that the word Mzimba is a Zulu – Xhosa one and it means the body of a human being. The word is famous in Malawi not because of its meaning but because this is the largest district in the entire country.

“It’s the only district which is ruled by children of one man, Zwangendaba (Ka Jele, Ka Qeko, Ka Lonyanda, ka nyandeni, Ka Khali , Ka lovuno, ka nguwoyempisi) who in the 1800s fled the wars of Shaka. Zwangendabah was born in Zululand but died in Mapupo while his children settled in the northern region of Malawi in a district called Mzimba. These children of Zwangendaba are present JERE ruling class of the Mzimba kingdom who during colonialism, formed the JERE COUNCIL which was the highest decision making body of the kingdom,” he writes.

Mzimba with its capital at Mzimba Boma has of today more than 610,944 people and covers 10,430 square kilometres. This territory is basically occupied by the JERE Nguni’s.

Meanwhile the Mzimba Heritage Association (MZA), the Mzimba Council, and government along with the family are yet to release a program for the funeral.

Hamba kahle Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa IV of Mzimba.

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