PRESS STATEMENT FROM TUMBUKA SENIOR CHIEFS AGAINST INSTALLATION OF GVH BONGOLOLO AS PARAMOUNT CHIEF CHIKULAMAYEMBE
22nd April, 2022
In utter-disbelief and state of shock to what has transpired in the Chikulamayembe succession wrangle, specifically government’s handling of the issue, we would like categorically communicate our strong stand and stance against government’s plan to proceed with the installation of GVH Bongololo as Paramount Chief Themba Lama Themba Chikulamayembe of the Tumbuka Tribe and Cultural.
We are greatly disturbed and disappointed that despite all the overwhelming evidence of tension, disunity and political interference surrounding the Chikulamayembe Chieftaincy succession wrangle, a government voted into power on a promise to uphold the rule of law, unity, fairness and justice would proceed to conduct an installation amidst out right political interference evidence, division, disunity, tension among the Tumbuka people. We find this absolutely unfortunate by the government particularly Head of State Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and Ministry of Local Government.
To our further disappointment, we have not received any feedback from our numerous letters to the Office of President and Ministry of Local Government regarding the grave and generational harm approval of GVH Bongololo.
A commission of inquiry was instituted to mediate/bring the two parties in the wrangle into peace and as of today no report has been issued by the commission of inquiry to the Head of State and Ministry of Local Government, yet the Head of State went ahead to approve GVH Bongololo as the rightful heir to the throne rendering a strong question in public domain on what basis was used in the approval. We find this utter unfortunate from the Head of State who is expected to handle and treat issues with sensitivity, thought leadership and scrutiny, especially cultural issues which a single mistake carries a lifetime effect on a tribe’s future generations, unity and culture.
We would like to make the public aware that on the 17th of April 2022 through the Rumphi District Commissioner Emmanuel Bulukutu, Deputy Minister of Local Government Hon. Halima Daud called for a meeting of Chikulamayembe Clan Heads with the meeting invitation letter dated 14th of April 2022 to a meeting on the 18th of April, which was a public holiday and without any agenda specified, where the Chairman of Clans Heads GVH Khalapamhanya responded in writing advising the Honourable Deputy Minister against the meeting as the clans heads included in the invitation were not the rightful ones of the Chikulamayembe royal families.
To our disappointment, the meeting still took place without the royal clans chairman GVH Khalapamhanya and with only GVH Bongololo side representatives where the deputy minister of local government Hon. Halima Daud was quoted to have been satisfied that there are no longer chieftainship wrangles which we find absolutely unfortunate, unprofessional, unfair and shameful of the Hon.
Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud, especially that only one side was present in the meeting. To our further most shocker, we received another letter from the Rumphi District Commissioner on the same 17th April 2022 dated 14th April 2022 demanding the Royal Highness Acting Paramount Chief Themba Lama Themba Mtima Chikulamayembe Mtima Gondwe to surrender his chieftainship gown, office keys and stamp rendering a question to what exactly was the basis of the meeting by Honourable Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud if a determination was made before the meeting, of which we refused to hand over any regalia or keys. We are aware of rumours that members of the instituted commission of inquiry in the Chikulamayembe chieftainship succession wrangle are being denied an audience with the Head of State to question the president’s basis of approving GVH Bongololo in absence of their report and against their recommendations, which we find very unfortunate from a leader who was voted into power on the promise of changing the status quo of how affairs are runed in the country, Malawi.
We further would like to bring the public to awareness that we filled for an injunction application with the Mzuzu High Court on the 12 of March 2022 and we are yet to have a ruling which is quite strange especially with the fact that our legal representation Kitta & Company and Kawelo & Company filled the application with certificate of urgency per required by law in matter that requires urgent determination.
The case was assigned to Justice Maureen Kondowe of Mzuzu High Court. We are fully aware the extent of political interference in the wrangle to the extent where T/A Mwankhunikira who is looked at as Acting Paramount Chief’s Mtima Gondwe sympathiser, was invited to Lilongwe by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Spokesperson Rev. Maurice Munthali on the 6th of April 2022. The Senior Chief met Rev. Maurice Munthali on the 7th of April 2022 at 4:30PM at the Ministry of Local Government offices in Lilongwe at Capital Hill where Rev. Maurice Munthali was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Local Government Hon. Halima Daud and Aford Party President Enock Chihana.
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Spokesperson Rev. Maurice Munthali with the aid of Deputy Minister of Local Government Hon. Halima Daud and Aford Party President Enock Chihana coerced T/A Mwankhunikira to support the unlawful and unculturable ascension of GVH Bongololo to the Chikulamayembe Chieftaincy with a promise to purchase a vehicle and construct a house for the Traditional Authority, which we find very unfortunate and of great concern.
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Spokesperson Rev. Maurice Munthali, Aford President Enock Chihana and Deputy Minister of Local Government Hon. Halima Daud went further to persuade T/A Mwankhunikira to convince his Royal Highness Acting Paramount Chief Themba Lama Themba Mtima Walter Gondwe to take up a diplomatic/embassy post in exchange of GVH Bongololo’s ascension to the Paramount Chikulamayembe Chieftaincy, which we find laughable, immature, unacceptable and further render the deputy minister of local government Halima Daud way compromised to handle this issue.
We would like to once again communicate our strong stand against the approval and installation of GVH Bongololo as Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe as it is unculturable, illogical and of grave harm to the Tumbuka culture and tribe, and if the government decides to proceed with the installation, unspecified cultural actions will be deployed which will unlikely render the installation impossible.
In conclusion, we urge the government not to proceed with the installation until all matters are resolved in this issue and furthermore to save government and Head of State of an impeccable embarrassment and humiliation, and most importantly for the sake of peace in Nkhamanga Kingdom and among Tumbaka’s across the world.
(Chikulamayembe Royal Family Spokesperson)