A conflict over succession has ensued among three royal families of Traditional Authority (TA) Nthalire in Chitipa following the death of the previous TA in August, 2017 Rabson Capasi Kawonga.
Families of Chikunguweya, Zambwe and Chalaghala recently contested in an election, which saw Ackim Kawonga of Zambwe family winning with the majority votes.
However, this did not go well with the Chikunguweya family which is challenging the system of election and wants succession to the throne be rotational among the three families.
According to a letter addressed to the District Commissioner (DC), Grace Chirwa and copied to Paramount Chief Kyungu, the Chikunguweya family says the heir should come from their clan, which would be the third family after the last TA from Chalaghala family, who took over the throne from the Zambwe family.
‘‘We write to express our concerns over the election of Ackim Kawonga (from Zambwe family) to be TA Nthalire, as the last chief came from Chalaghala family, who took it over from Zambwe family.
According to the flow of the chieftaincy, currently, it should be from the Chikunguweya family,” reads the letter signed by Centwin Kawonga which was made available to Malawi News Agency (Mana).
But speaking in a telephone interview Thursday, the chief elect Ackim Kawonga dismissed the Chikunguweya’s arguments saying the last chief did not come from Chalaghala clan but from Chikunguweya family.
‘‘What the Chikunguweya family is saying is not true because the last TA, Rabson Kawonga, came from their clan.’’
‘‘Apart from that, I was chosen following an election of which they also contested. As such, I am surprised with their concerns,’’ the chief elect said.
Efforts to talk to the DC, Chirwa proved futile as she was out for other official duties in Mangochi and her mobile phone could not be reached.