Local Government and Rural Development minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has denied that he showed up three hours later after the scheduled time to preside over the installation of Chief Njolomole of Ntcheu on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
In an interview with Nyasa Times on Friday, the minister said the reports are “dangerously inaccurate” and “a total fabrication”, explaining he arrived at the chief’s headquarters at Mtchakatha at five minutes past one in the afternoon, five minutes ahead of the scheduled 1 pm as indicated on the official programme.
However, the District Council communicated to other stakeholders that starting time was 10am which saw delegates arriving at the function early, including leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera.
“You can look at the official programme; you can confirm with my ministry officials; I was never late. I don’t intend to engage in any serious discussion on this matter with anyone but I thought for posterity, it was important to set the record straight. I was never late by three hours as reported. I therefore owe no-one any apology. I cannot comprehend why someone would create such a serious lie,” said Nankhumwa, who is also Leader of Government Business in Parliament and MP for Mulanje Central.
District Commissioner (DC) for Ntcheu, Smart Gwedemula also said the minister came to the event “as scheduled.”
Charles Kaduya, one of the chief’s minders who was also part of the organizing committee had to put political spin to the matter.
Kaduya alleged that the ‘the-minister-was-late’ story may have been ‘concocted’ by agents of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), whose president Dr. Lazarus Chakwera came sharply earlier in the morning to attend the event and had to wait hours on end before the official starting time.
” Chakwera and his entourage arrived as early as 8 o’clock in the morning. They said they had information it was a morning event that would start at 9 am. They had missed the point,” said Kaduya.
Seemingly not amused with attempts to politicize the official installation of T/A Njolomole’s, Kaduya, a Lilongwe-based mechanical engineer, claimed in an email interview with Nyasa Times that the MCP president, Chakwera “is probably the only Malawian who is covering more travelling miles than anyone. Within the last couple of months, his political campaign has taken him across the lengths and breadth of this country at the speed of light in the name of visibility.
“From his conduct, it is clear that Dr. Chakwera has been a good student of the visibility lesson. He has utilized every opportunity to be visible by combing in and around the villages and towns looking for functions. He is leaving no stone unturned by searching every nook and cranny, looking for activity that he can ‘attend’ as guest of honor or otherwise. To the MCP President, it appears what matters is progress towards visibility.
“It was therefore a god-sent opportunity for Dr. Chakwera to make visibility happen again when an event to install our Ngoni Chief Njolomole in Ntcheu appeared on the ladder. It was an opportunity for the MCP presidential aspirant for a photo opportunity with the newly-installed chief and show that he is man of the people,” wrote Kaduya.
He claimed that within the visibility frenzy “or somewhere thereabout”, Chakwera and his campaign team forgot to properly capture the official starting time for the installation function, which was 1 pm.
“Instead, Dr. Chakwara was at the Chief’s compound by 8 in the morning. Honourable Nankhumwa was picked as the outlet of that anger. After all, he is Local Government Minister for the DPP government, a party that MCP does not like and one which it must oppose at every turn. Superlatives such as ‘he was late by three hours’; ‘he did not apologize for being late;’ and ‘that he is powerful minister or ‘PM’ were used just to create an air of being wrong,” opined Kaduya.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :