Youths in Karonga and Chitipa the northern region of Malawi have slammed their traditional leaders’ claim that people in the region are against the call for the country’s President Peter Muthalika to resign, saying no chief has consulted them on the matter.
Some chiefs told reporters at a news conference that opposition calls for President Mutharika to resign is unacceptable, arguing that the proposed action is not an answer to the food crisis and economic challenges the country is facing.
But outspoken and influential youth activists Steve Simsokwe, who is also the Executive Director for Karonga Youth for Justice, the chief’s position on the matter does not represent them as community.
Simsokwe said that the chiefs’ action on the issue has openly shown that they don’t know their mandated duties hence they are palmed oil.
“As the youths for Karonga and Chitipa we are wondering who mandated our traditional leaders to speak on our behalf especially on the issue of calling the county’s President Peter Muthalika to resign. We have not been consulted by these chiefs, therefore their stand is null and void as it represents themselves,” said Simsokwe.
“What the chiefs should know is that we are leaving in a democratic system of government where anyone needs to be consulted before coming up with a decision. So the President should know that what the chiefs have said is not from us,” lamented Simsokwe. “The people on the ground have not spoken. Those who are eating are speaking in his defence.”
He wondered that there are many pressing issues affecting youths in the northern region but they chief have remained mum.
“For instance issues of maize scarcity in our ADMARC depots, quota system and regionalism,” he said.
“We know that always government uses our chiefs as a major political tool of silencing the opposition parties as well as concerned organizations especially when it comes to issues like this, however, as the youths we shall not allow this time to be deceived again because we are the ones affected by the current hunger and economic situation,” he added.
Concurring with Simsokwe, Alick Msukwa of Misuku village in Chitipa district wondered where the chiefs in the country through their forum managed to source the fund to hold the news s conference and sleeping in luxurious hotels such as Grand Palace Hotel in Mzuzu.
On Monday this week, eight senior chiefs and Traditional Leaders (TAs) in the northern region, including senior chief Kameme of Chitipa as well as TA Mwirang’ombe and Kilipula of Karonga held a news conference in Mzuzu where they slammed the opposition parties in the country for calling the President to resign claiming that the reasons behind are premature in the absence of their paramount chiefs.
Senior Chief Mpherembe of Mzimba, who chaired the briefing, claimed that chiefs in the region are against calls for Mutharika to resign, saying the opposition should wait until 2019.
He argued that the resignation calls will only bring “tension” in the country.
However, conspicuously missing were all the region’s three paramount chiefs, namely Chikulamayembe, Kyungu and M’mbelwa V.
Meanwhile, an editorial in the flagship Daily Times newspaper on Tuesday condemned greedy and materialistic chiefs who have betrayed the interests of their people for their own self-aggrandisement.
The paper said the country’s traditional leaders have reduced themselves into “bootlickers of sorts.”
It urged chiefs to play their rightful role in society.
And CCAP Livingstonia Synod, Church and Society, Executive director of Church and Society, Moses Mkandawire, said chiefs should “propagate the truth”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :