Minister set to enthrone Ackim Kawonga as Chief Nthalire despite court battle

Government is pressing on to enthrone Ackim Kawonga as Chief Nthalire in Chitipa on Monday following advice from Attorney General (AG) Charles Mhango.

Ackim Kawonga set for installment as Chief Nthalire

Members of Chikunguweya royal family, who back claimant Judge Kawonga, obtained a court order against the installation of the acting chief from Zambwe family.

The succession dispute between Zambwe and Chikunguweya royal families has been raging for five months after the death of the previous chief, Rabson Chalaghala Kawonga, from Chalaghala line.

Judge and his backers, through lawyer George Kadzipatike, have filed sworn affidavits in the High Court which show the chieftaincy rotates among the three families.

The court documents, which Malawi News Agency has seen, show the predecessor of the deceased chief came from the Zambwe line.

But Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development Charles Thombozi, in a letter dated January 9 2018, has informed Chitipa district commissioner Michael Chimbalanga that the court order cannot deter government from recognising the acting chief.

It reads in part: “We are pleased to inform you that the office of the Attorney General has advised that government is at liberty to recognise Mr Ackim Kawonga as acting Traditional Authority Nthalire of Chitipa.

“This means in the next programme of chief’s installation, Nthalire chieftaincy may be considered for installation.”

In an interview, the claimant said he was surprised with government’s stand because his concerns remain unresolved.

He insisted on the need to respect the power triangle.

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