Minister of Local government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, says government is saddened with the frequent deaths of chiefs who are custodians of culture and development in the country.
Nankhumwa was speaking Monday in Karonga during burial ceremony of Senior Chief Kalonga who died on September 22 after succumbing to stroke for over a year.
He said Senior Chief Kalonga is the sixth to die since January this year after Traditional Authority Ntholowa of Zomba, Malenganzoma of Nkhata Bay, Chimutu of Lilongwe and Malenga of Ntchisi, among others.
Nankhumwa described the death of Senior Chief Kalonga as worrisome and a big blow to Malawi’s development and the Ngonde tribe.
He said the chief was always courageous and served to the best interest of his subjects.
“We are very saddened with the passing on of chiefs in Malawi, and the death of Senior Chief Kalonga is the sixth since January this year.
“Chiefs are important part of government and advisors on issues of development to president and their deaths leave a huge gap to the development of the nation,” the Minister said.
Nankhumwa said Senior Chief Kalonga who was also Bishop for African Last Church managed to strike a balance between tradition and spiritual matters which, he said, is a good precedent to other chiefs.
He advised the royal family to follow proper and peaceful succession plan to avoid wrangles.
Brother to the deceased chief, Boston Mwamatope, said as a family, they have lost a pillar of hope that always fought for togetherness in between their families.
Born Wilfred Mwamatope in September, 1943, he was installed as Sub Traditional Authority Kalonga in 1991, then as a full Traditional Authority in 1996 before being elevated to Senior Chief in January 2011.
He is survived by two wives, 10 children and 33 grandchildren.