Minister of Local Government and Rural Development , Kondwani Nankhumwa has fuelled the the reported expansion drive of the Lhomwe ethnic grouping by bulldozing Traditional Authorities Chamba and Mlomba of Machinga who refused to cede part of their territories, and pressed Yao Paramount Chief Kawinga where he has elevated group village heads Nyumwanyumwa and Saidi Mataka of Machinga to Sub Traditional Authority (STA) respectively – all Lhomwe chiefs.
The elevation of the two chiefs means that Machinga has four STAs, 10 Traditional Authorities (TAs), three Senior Chiefs and one Paramount Chief.
Nankhumwa said Paramount Chief Kawinga did not oppose the elevation of the two Lhomwe chiefs under the jurisdiction of Yao Traditional Authorities and said
government would continue its programme of promoting chiefs that are hard working.
According to the Chiefs Act, the powers to elevate Group Village Head (GVH) into a Sub TA rests in the hands of the responsible Traditional Authorities .
Recently, Mlomba accused Lhomwe Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa, who is working with Nankhumwa in the Lhomwe expansion drive, of wanting to disrupt the coexistence that has been there between the Yao and Lhomwe tribes and interfering in the affairs of Yao people.
Herefused to bow down to the demands by Ngolongoliwa and the Ministry of Local Government to lose part of his area to somebody who originally is not from the Yao tribe.
“All along Yaos and Lhomwes have been living in harmony. But now they want to create enemity between us through dubious elevation of some chiefs into traditional authorities. We will not bow down to this because we know this is political,” Mlomba said as quoted by Malawi News recently when they exclusively reported the issue first.
Mlomba and Chamba, revealed that they were surprised to see government officials comprising the Principal Secretary for Local Government Kiswell Dakamau, Director for Chiefs Administration Charles Thombozi, and District Commissioner for Machinga Bester Mandele forcing them to sign letters which were approving the appointment of the two GHVs as STAs.
The two chiefs said they refused to sign the letters.
But Nankhumwa, powerful Minister in Democrcatic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, went ahead to elevate the chiefs and warned other Yao chiefs that they risk being removed if they don’t showdedication towards development work.
He also warned Chiefs against corrupt practices.
“My Ministry has noted with deep concern that some traditional leaders are involved in corrupt acts when registering beneficiaries for the public works programmes. For example, they are putting names of their relatives as beneficiaries, leaving out the vulnerable that the programme targets,” he observed.
Nankhumwa warned that once such chiefs are found they would be removed from the chieftaincy and replaced with the guidance of the Chief’s Act.
The Paramount Chief advised the newly promoted chiefs to respect their subjects and work with all chiefs under his jurisdiction regardless of their tribal backgrounds saying this would ensure sustainable development in the district.
Last year, Government promoted Senior Chief Kawinga to Paramount Chief and Traditional Authority Chamba to Senior Chief respectively.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :