The funeral service of Senior Chief Che Somba, who died on Tuesday, was given a befitting ceremony at Somba Village in Blantyre as it was graced by very high profile officials including Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa.
Others who attended were Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Cecilia Chazama, Paramount Chief Lundu, MP Kennedy Kachingwe and District Commissioner Bernard Kansala.
Also in attendance were many fellow traditional leaders from Blantyre, Zomba, Machinga and Chikwawa as well as high profile dignitaries from Muslim Association of Malawi led by Sheikh Ali Kennedy.
Late Che Somba was a devout and well respected Muslim nationwide as he was one of the founders of MAM and as a show of solidarity to fellow Muslims at the service, Malawi Congress Party Vice-President Sidik Mia made a brief appearance at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) dominated event.
He and his entourage briefly gathered where fellow Muslims were seated and he proceeded into the late Che Somba’s residence to condole the bereaved family and as soon as he came out, he walked back to his car and was driven off.
Mia’s presence added credence to what all speakers said of late Che Somba, that he was a very humble human being despite being an influential senior chief, who was the head of over 180 traditional chiefs, 18 of which were group village headmen.
Nankhumwa said the Local Government Ministry recognized late Che Somba as a peacemaker, who was tasked on many occasions to arbitrate disputes that arose in several chieftains across the country.
“His well written and objective reports when he came back from his assignments were always approved by the government and carried out his proposals and solutions to the disputes,” Nankhumwa said.
“He was a very loving human being first and foremost and a caring and humble chief. Death of a chief always affects the government especially when disputes arise over heir to the chieftaincy.
“So we are asking the family to mourn their patriarch peacefully and later identify the right heir to the chieftaincy. We have reports that there was some infighting over the heir even when he was alive. We will observe with keen interest so that we receive the rightful candidate.
“The government does not choose chiefs. It is passed on by blood lineage. But if disputes arise and are failing to be solved amicably, we come in to solve them. So we will be observing what will come out of here,” he said.
All the other speakers; DC Kansala, MP Kachingwe, Sheikh Kennedy, Paramount Chief Lundu and Senior Chief Lundu paid their tribute to the fallen chief, all saying late Che Somba was a dignified human being first and a very humble and wise traditional leader.
Late Che Somba was born 11th October, 1937 and became a chief in 1989, ruling for 29 years. He is survived by six children and 48 grandchildren.
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