Minister warns Chiefs against frustrating development  programmes

Government  has strongly warned that it will deal harshly with chiefs and some traditional leaders who interfere with implementation of development programmes designed to promote the welfare of citizens.

Local government Minister Installing Sub TA Mwakabanga of Chief Mwaulambia
Local government Minister Installing Sub TA Mwakabanga of Chief Mwaulambia

The warning was sounded by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa during installation ceremony of four sub chiefs in Chitipa District, held at  Chitipa Community Ground, Monday.

The Minister observed with concern that much as chiefs and traditional leaders were key in ensuring successful execution of development projects implemented in their jurisdictions, there were some misguided local leaders who gang up with  project implementing sectors to abuse project resources.

Said Nankhumwa, “We all know that traditional leaders play an important role in ensuring successful implementation of development projects and it becomes a concern to the government when they become corrupt  and  take leading role in sabotaging  the same development programmes, for their personal  gains.”

According to the Minister, it has been revealed  that in some districts, which he declined to mention,  undevelopment conscious and  money minded traditional leaders connive with officials from director of public works  office to cheat on the number of labourers hired for safety net programmes  in order to share the wages of bogus employees.

He said it has been discovered that in other safety net project, such as  road projects,  300 people  are hired for the job , according to the registers but in true sense, it is only  100 laboures who are doing the  work.

“Let me warn chiefs and traditional leaders who indulge in corrupt practices and bend on torpedoing government initiated development programme  that they will meet rude awakening once caught,” burst Nankhumwa.

On installation  of the four sub chiefs, Nankhumwa urged the leaders  to always save the government of the day and refrain from meddling in politics.

He asked the chiefs to always exercise highest degree of transparency and fairness in settling disputes and management of other governance issues to win the trust of their subjects who nurse a lot of aspiration from them.

As custodians of cultures and traditional norms, Nankhumwa  urged the four chiefs to  promote  dynamic cultural believes which do not pause  threats to socioeconomic development of the community.

Nankhumwa said president Peter Arthur Mutharika endorsed   the four  proposed leaders for sub chief status  on consideration of the geographical terrain of the district, which he said toughens the job of the incumbent traditional authorities without their assistants.

And  Mtemi Paramount  Chief Kyungu of Karonga said  the president’s idea to recognize  sub chiefs  was a welcome development as he is only bringing back the status quo of how  local leadership were  34 years ago, when both Karonga and Chitipa Districts  had sub chiefs  to assist traditional authorities to govern.

Kyungu advised the newly installed sub chiefs to respect both, their traditional authorities and their subjects if they were to discharge their duties to the aspirations of the people.

Senior Chief Kameme thanked the president for endorsing the   names of the four leaders to sub chiefs status saying  the decision smacks the president’s  appreciation  of  the noble role of traditional leaders and their  challenges.

“The  establishment of sub chiefs offices in our areas is a big relief to traditional authorities who used to walk long distances to discharge leadership  responsibilities,” said Kameme.

The four installed chiefs are Sub Chief Wavikaza, real name: Hellings Kawonga,   Sub Chief Nthengatenga , real name: Mafious Kawonga, both from T/A Nthalire, Sub Chief Mwakawanga , real name  Sain Nyondo, from T/A Mwaulambia and  Sub Chief Lwangwa Mwangulukulu, real name Johnson Pandamyo Msukwa.

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