President Bingu wa Mutharika has always boasted as a person who respects traditional leaders but on Wednesday the Malawi leader barked at the chiefs threatening to strip them off of their chieftaincies.
The president attacked the chiefs in Zomba when he launched the 2011-2012 National Tree Plating Season at Jali in the area of TA Mwambo.
Mutharika accused the traditional leaders of engaging in corrupt acts which include selling coupons for subsidize farm inputs and fertilizers at higher prices not recommended by government.
“I have your names… I have the powers to remove any chief who engages in that and one day when I am angry do not say I am a bad leader,” he said.
“But if that is true then it is bad because you are part of the system [government] and you are supposed to assist government in developing this country, and as chiefs you are supposed to lead by example,” said Mutharika.
Since taking over government in 2004, Mutharika has always bragged of respecting chiefs but his comments against them have left a lot to be desired.
Over the past two weeks, he elevated two chiefs TA Tsabango of Lilongwe and TA Makwangwala of Ntcheu to senior chief respectively.
There are also reports that he will be elevating another TA in the Northern Region to senior chief during the coming few weeks.