Nthalire chieftaincy wrangle dragged to Mzuzu High Court

Chieftaincy wrangle between the royal family members of Traditional Authority T.A. Nthalire in Chitipa over the rightful person to be on the thrown ceases to die as some members have dragged the matter to Mzuzu High Court.

Mzuzu High Court

The former T.A. whose real name was Rabson Chapasi Kawonga passed on in August this year (2017). Following his death, three royal family members of Chikunguweya, Zambwe and Chalaghala contested through voting and Ackim Kawonga of Zambwe family won the elections with majority votes.

However, this did not please the Chikunguweya Family who believe it is the turn of their family to take over the throne basing on the rotational chieftaincy system within their families.

The family, through Judge Kawonga, has summoned the chief elect (Ackim Kawonga) and Chitipa District Council officials to defend themselves in court against the decision of recognizing Kawonga as T.A. Nthalire.

In a court summons civil case number 207 of 2017, represented by the Jivason and Company of Legal Practitioners which Malawi News Agency has sourced, the claimant is demanding for orders from the high court stopping Chitipa District Council from recognizing Kawonga (Ackim) as T.A. and to restrain him from exercising his powers as T.A. Nthalire.

The summons, dated 27th November, 2017, is also asking for an order compelling the defendants and members of the public to recognize the Chikunguweya Royal Family as the only eligible successor to the throne, and that an acting T.A. should come from that family pending installation.

“The claimant is a bonafide son from the Chikunguweya’s Royal Family which is entitled to the throne of T.A. Nthalire in Chitipa District.

“The last T.A. Rabson Kawonga came from Chalaghala Royal Family, and he died on 9th August 2017, and this chief had taken over from a Chief that came from the Zambwe Royal Family. This is therefore the turn of the claimant’s family, namely Chikunguweya’s royal family, and the claimant herein is one of the eligible candidates to inherit the chieftainship,” reads part of the summons.

However, speaking in a telephone interview, the chief elect (Ackim Kawonga) refused to comment on the issue, saying the case is now in court.

“What I can only say is that the Chikunguweya Family is doing all that because they feel that I am too poor to defend myself in court,” said Kawonga.

The development comes at a time when the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had in September already approved Kawonga as the next T.A. Nthalire and he was waiting for the official installation scheduled for December 22, this year (2017).

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