Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Phiri has expressed concern over chieftaincy wrangles, saying the disagreements deprive people of their right to development in affected areas.
Phiri was speaking Wednesday at Maganga in Nkhata Bay when he presided over the elevation of Group Village Head Siyalimba to Sub Traditional Authority Siyalimba.
“There are a lot of chieftaincy wrangles in courts and government loses a lot of money on these cases. We expect to reduce these cases by 50 percent by January, 2020,” Phiri said.
Phiri also advised chiefs in the country to refrain from being used by politicians saying chiefs are supposed to be working with the government of the day at any given period.
“We don’t want to see chiefs being campaign directors of political parties,” Phiri said.
The minister also appealed to chiefs in the district to be promoting a culture of respect among themselves to avoid incidents of violence which may lead loss of life and destruction of property.
He made the remarks in respect of the fracas that recently erupted in the district between two villages which left 26 houses burnt to ashes and four people dead.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Traditional Authority Kabunduli suggested to government to abolish chief’s honoraria which he said is fueling chieftaincy wrangles in the country.
“Sometimes, some members of royal families ignite chieftaincy wrangles for honoraria. I think honoraria is also one of the factors which fuel chieftaincy wrangles and it would be good if government stopped paying honoraria to chiefs,” Kabunduli suggested.
Currently, there are four chieftaincy wrangles which are at the courts and some date back to 2005.