Nankhumwa in ‘damage control’ over covet mission to expand Lhomwe Belt in ‘Yaoland’

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nakhumwa is running damage control after a controversial move when  recently elevated chiefs in the Yao-dominated district of Machinga as part of a covet mission to expand the so-called Lhomwe Belt -is the bedrock of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Nankhumwa : The allegations are unfortunate and not true

Yaos are reportedly angry because government has elevated two Lhomwe chiefs, group village heads Saidi Mataka and Nyumwanyumwa, in Machinga without  consulting the Yaos in the districtswhich  is likely to trigger enmity between the two tribes.

Chiwanja Cha Yao chairperson Mac Kennedy Yasini warns government “to tread carefully on these issues”. So do senior chiefs Mlomba and Chamba of Machinga who accused government of sidestepping them. They argued that  the promotion of Saidi Mataka and Nyumwanyumwa was motivated by the governing DPP’s desire to win more voters in Eastern Region and urge Lhomwe Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa against “assuming more powers to dictate issues affecting other tribes.”

They also blame Minister  Nankhumwa for using elevation of chiefs to position the DPP to win 2019 polls and not really to promote culture.

And Malawi News which exposed the covert mission to expand Lhomwe Belt into Yaoland, said in an editorial that Nankhumwa “is a man on a dangerous mission, failing to separate his position as DPP campaign director from ministerial duties.”

Nankhumwa has since gone into damage control mode over the matter.

Apart from an opinion piece published  in his favor, he has also given a PR interview in which he admits that the two group village heads were elevated to the position of sub-traditional authority in Machinga.

“This means that the chieftaincies were already in existence. As is the procedure, loyal families requested the President for the elevation of the said two chiefs. Having noted that the two chiefs are in the area of Paramount Chief Kawinga, the ministry took an initiative to inform him of the development. The paramount chief discussed the matter with the traditional authorities concerned who duly accepted in writing that the two chiefs should be elevated,’’ he explains.

Nankhumwa said the chiefs were elevated following the Chiefs Act chapter 22:3 of the laws of Malawi that govern that appointment of traditional leaders in the country.

“The ministry has not received any contrary information on elevations. What my ministry has are letters from the two chiefs who approved the recommendations and these were endorsed by the Paramount Chief Kawinga. Traditional leaders Saiti Mataka and Nyumwa Nyumwa are located in Paramount Chief Kawinga’s area. Just like other areas, we inform and consult the paramount chief of that area of the intended elevations,” he said.

Nankhumwa stressed that promotion of traditional chiefs is the responsibility of the President.

He, nonetheless, said his ministry appreciates the fact that there are people of other tribes in areas where others are dominant.

“As a minister, I have always encouraged such members to live in harmony and to tolerate one another. My ministry will continue making sure that this is sustained for peaceful coexistence in the Districts where there are various tribes in the Country,” he said.

Nankhumwa also denied  that DPP is positioning chiefs as part of a campaign to expand its influence ahead of 2019 polls.

“We are in no way positioning chiefs strategically for 2019. You may wish to know that we have chiefs of other tribes in areas where other tribes are dominating. For instance, we have Ngoni chieftaincies in Dowa, Yao chieftaincies in Mulanje and Thyolo. We have Chewa Chiefs in Mangochi. As already indicated, the two elevated chiefs were already in existence they have just been elevated from being group village headmen to sub-TAs. Statistics are readily available in the ministry and the respective council offices,” he said.

Nankhumwa is also DPP campaign director and blue eyed boy of President Peter Mutharika.


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Ngakhale sunalembe dzina lako yemwe walemba nkhani iwe, koma ine ndikukudziwa. Ndipo ndikusaka mpaka ndidzakupeza, uona polekela, pantumbo pako.

We need to abolish this chieftaincy stupidity. This is one of problem sources. Our neighbor Tanzania does not have these useless fools. Matters are handled by specialized agencies e.g. Police, Lands Ministry etc. Wake up Malawi. I know ignoramasues will rush to attack because mediocrity is where they earn their living. Kupusa basi! We can also do away with these tribal groupings because all they are promoting is hate and nepotism. Go to Rwanda and ask someone their tribe, you will be arrested! One Malawi One Nation. Besides there have been so many intermarriages…..what becomes of the children?? Again, Wake… Read more »
100% MCP

You, HALF-CASTE of questionable nationality be warned that your attempts to divide the people of this country along tribal lines wont succeed. Already you are busy trying to drive a wedge between the Yaos and the Lomwes in order to gain cheap political mileage but you will fail.The indigenous people of this country will fight you, the neo-colonialist, to the last drop of their blood.Your divide and rule tactics wont work.Malawians will remain united.To hell with neo-colonialism.To hell with people of questionable nationality.

Tenzi Mzungu

What about Yao chiefs in lhomwe land like Chikumbu, nthiramanja Chitera, Mpama, Nkalo, Likoswe. Fact of the matter is yaos and lhomwes live side by side so there is no point barring others from progression. The writer wants to create something out of nothing. He has been paid to write this stupid article


It is that mulatto from the lower shire who has paid this reporter to write rubbish.


Atolankhani oterewa ndi a mvundulamadzi. they want to bring racism in Malawi. please Malawi is too smart to accept rubish racism which is in these paparazi. uli mmadzi mphwanga. ask this racism pulesident……. waona zakuda dziko lonse litamuukira. he is regreting bittery now

There is nothing wrong promoting yao chiefs in Machinga. 1..Paramount Chief Lundu in chikwawa is a chewa chief among the mang’anjas and senas kodi Kamuzu adalakwa? 2.Chief Bvumbwe in Thyolo the Lomwe land is a Ngoni chief Kodi nda Nankhumwa kapena a Chilima adakweza mfumu Bvumbwe? 3. In Mangochi grp chief Mgundaphiri, Kalonga, Mtalimanja, Saiti Kadzuwa and Mapira are all chewa chiefs , kodi ndi a Nankhumwa adachita zokomazi. Tonse ndife a Malawi. Nanga ma MP bwanji achitumbuka amakaimira ku Blantyre ndi Lilongwe , a chilomwe ndi a chewa amakaimira Kumzuzu ndi Lilongwe. SAMALAKWA AYI KOMA OLAKWA NDI MTOLANKHANI KAPENA… Read more »

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