Publicity Secretary for Bwalo la Chewa Foundation [BOLA –CEFO], Senior Chief Kaluluma of Kasungu says the story in the public media that some chiefs have reached at an extent of selling chieftainship in exchange for money knowing pretty well that chieftainship is blood relation, is worrisome to all the Chewa chiefs in Malawi.
Chief Kaluluma describes the tendency as total corruption, demanding the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Charles Kalemba to disclose the names of chiefs behind this malpractice so that they are brought to book.
The chief said chiefs that are doing this in their respective areas do not receive respect from their subjects, hence right and proper for the PS to come in the open with names of corrupt chiefs for public interest and this again will clear out other chiefs who are innocent out of the corrupt practices.
Speaking in an interview, Senior Chief Kaluluma faulted Senior Chief Lukwa for speaking to the press on matters of chiefs in the country, the Chewa chiefs have a Paramount, rightly placed to speak or delegate someone to speak other than Senior Chief Lukwa , saying he was not appointed to speak for the Chewa chiefs in Malawi.
Chief Kaluluma said the story has destroyed the image of the Chewa chiefs in Malawi that all are corrupt, as they have been appointing village and Group village heads for money and this too, has reduced the respect the Chewa chiefs have been receiving from their subjects since time immemorial.
Senior Chief Kaluluma standing with his subjects
…….’’Every Chewa Chief is not happy and is against the Principal Secretary for demeaning them, chiefs who buys chieftainship do not receive respect, there is a need to know who thes corrupt chiefs are and where found, for the truth to prevail’…..said Chief Kaluluma.
One of the Weekend papers, the Nation, quoted Secretary for Local Government, Charles Kalemba, that some Traditional Authorities have given themselves powers to appoint Village and Group Village heads, taking this, as a business cashing in over K750,000 from one appointment saying those chiefs that are doing this are against the Chiefs Act which states that for one to be appointed Village and Group Village head, should have not less than 10 villages of30 households each.
But, the statement was dismissed by Senior Chief Lukwa who argued that chiefs are doing that as their job stipulated in the Chiefs Act saying government programs especially on subsidies have contributed to some families to appoint their own village head to easily benefit from donations and incentives being provided by Government and NGOs which if there were in one village chief, they would not have been given a share.
Chief Lukwa said people in the villages are also fighting to have village titles because of the honoraria allowance [Mswahara], a development which Senior Chief Kaluluma said it would have been better to consult the Paramount of the Chewas, His Royal Highness, Paramount, Dr. Lundu to guide in the way he could have answered questions from the media or directing someone to respond on behalf of all the Chewa chiefs in Malawi.
According to records the paper accessed from the Ministry of Local Government, 7,400 chiefs have been appointed without villages, out of the 42,110 gazetted chiefs in the country, 5,753 village chiefs are ungazetted while 1,728 are ungazetted Group village heads.
By Vincent Gunde