Malawi: Mutharika Fires Chief Chekucheku of Mwanza

President Peter Mutharika has fired Francis Magombo as chief Chekucheku of Mwanza.

Director of Chiefs’ Administration in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Lawrence Makonokaya confirmed that Magombo has been fired.

He said he presented the letter of dismissal to Magombo in the presence of clan leaders of the royal family on Thursday.

He said there was evidence that the chief was abusing his powers and that the Head of State could not allow chiefs abusing their powers.

The laws of Malawi give powers to the President to hire and fire traditional leaders.

“The State President has acted on the recommendations from the committee which was looking into the matter after thorough investigations and consultations with relevant stakeholders.

“The family is now being asked to come up with a name of the person to take over the throne immediately so that they may be crowned,” said Makonokaya.

He ruled out the possibility of an appeal saying they had exhausted all areas that mattered like the legal and traditional perspectives.

This is the first traditional leader to be fired by President Peter Mutharika since he took office in 2014.

In 2014, the residents of Chekucheku held vigils pressing for the removal of their leader. They accused Magombo of neglecting the Ngoni culture in his actions by among other things abusing power to grab land, appoint village headmen who are loyal to him as opposed to what their tradition requires.

They also decried lack of developmental activities in their area as both government and Non-Governmental Agencies were shunning the area opting for other three T/As because of his conduct.

Neno District Commissioner, Memory Kaleso Monteiro said resolving the wrangle will relieve them of taking extra tasks that arose due to absence of a leader in the area.

She said, “All I can say is that we will now be relieved of having to handle some issues that were for the local leaders due to the absence of a leader.”

Magombo declined to comment when asked on how he had received the communication and his next move.

There have been efforts to unite the two groups since 2009 which involved officials from the ministry, Ngoni leaders and members of the Chiefs’ Council.-Additional reporting Alex Chitwere, Mana

Source: Nyasa Times