Nankhumwa urges chiefs to pursue government’s development agenda

Mangochi, Traditional leaders in the country have been encouraged to help government in spearheading different development programs aimed at uplifting people’s living conditions in line with its vision of making Malawi a progressive nation.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa gave the encouragement on Monday when he elevated Group Village Headman Chiunda to the status of Sub Traditional Authority at his Mtondo Headquarters in Mangochi.

Nankhumwa said government would continue to introduce strategies aimed at consolidating gains in fostering a progressive nation through the three development pillars of hard work, integrity and patriotism being championed by the country’s leadership which he noted required engagement of the local leadership to become a reality.

He observed that currently government is implementing social protection programs like the Malawi Social Action Fund’s public works program meant to uplift people’s living standards which sometimes faces hitches due to some ‘greedy’ chiefs.

For example, when the DC asks traditional leaders to come up with a list of beneficiaries they bring bogus names � government will not condone such irresponsibility instead it shall allow the full force of the law to take course, he warned.

Nankhumwa, therefore, discouraged chiefs from indulging in bribery and corruption, saying the two elements derail development to take place especially from the grassroots.

The Minister called on traditional leaders in general and the new Sub T/A in particular to work closely with government in championing development by among other things mobilizing their subjects to participate in self help activities.

Nankhumwa, however, advised Sub Traditional Authority Chiunda to follow democratic principles of leadership which entail that there was unity among his subjects to facilitate people’s participation in socio economic activities in a peaceful environment.

He said government is enjoying a cordial relationship with chiefs across the country which is making it easier to implement its development programs.

On this note, Nankhumwa appealed to other traditional leaders to emulate the example set by Traditional Authority Chowe who asked government to partition the area, saying subdividing an area of jurisdiction creates opportunities for growth.

I am very optimistic that we may come back here to give some rewards to Sultan Chowe for his generosity. Remember, they say blessed is the hand that gives, he said in a thin veiled reference to possible promotion of Chowe to senior chief.

District Commissioner for Mangochi, Rev. Moses Chimphepo said sub dividing the area of T/A Chowe would effectively contribute to fast tracking of development programs at the council considering that the area would now have a fully fledged area development committee to specifically address their socio economic needs.

This is a very positive development. The area of T/A Chowe is very vast whereby the T/A had to look at issues from Lungwena all the way to Masanje a distance of 120 kilometres with a population of 130, 000 and was quite tedious for him, Chimphepo said.

Chimphepo also said the coming of Sub T/A Chiunda would promote cultural and traditional values which people practice in the area, considering that chiefs besides being development architects also remain critical custodians of culture.

He said the chief would help in the administration of primary justice in marriage and land disputes, hence reducing cases referred to the DC and the courts.

Traditional Authority Chowe said the decision to have a Sub T/A under him was meant to allow development flourish upon attaining autonomy.

The decision was arrived at after the royal family felt it necessary to have part of the area under the responsibility of Chiunda which was seen as a deliberate attempt to allow people make their own development needs, Sultan Chowe said.

Chowe, therefore, advised the new chief to advance the interest of his subjects at the expense of his personal gains, emphasizing: Being a leader calls for humility, servant leadership, kind and above everything else impartiality and being development conscious.

According to a family member, Msusa Yalabi, Sub Traditional Authority Chiunda born Chiutula Ishmael on February 03, 1978 is third in the succession line of Chiunda chieftaincy. He is married with three children.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA