Plans by senior traditional leaders to push for the establishment of an independent chiefs’ council seem to have hit a blank with little or nothing to show on the ground.
For years, the local leaders have been knocking on government’s door to consider the issue but their desire has remained a mere wish.
Paramount Chiefs Lundu of Chikwawa, Kyungu of Karonga and Senior Chiefs Lukwa of Kasungu and Kapeni of Blantyre have held meetings under the umbrella of chiefs’ council.
But investigations by The Nation indicate that despite being an age-old and one of the most desired chiefs’ wishes, the council remains an entity with no legal basis.
Until today, the proposers are still sleeping on the matter while keeping government guessing their next action.
“We do have hiccups in our camp,” Senior Chief Kapeni, one of the resolute advocates of the council, said in an interview on Monday.
The chiefs held their last meeting in early 2016 at Ntunda Wosema in Thyolo, the headquarters of newly elevated Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa, where the issue was last discussed and a team set up.
Several senior traditional leaders from across the country, such as Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V of Mzimba, Inkosi ya Makhosi Gomani V of Ntcheu, Kyungu, Kapeni, Lukwa and Senior Chief Tsabango of Lilongwe, attended.
“Unfortunately, there is nothing to show. But it is our desire to have that as our voice where we could articulate our contribution to the general well-being of the nation and the affairs of chiefs,” said Kapeni.
The host of the meeting, Senior Chief Ngolongoliwa, said he could not say much because soon after their gathering he was taken ill and went abroad for treatment.
However, Senior Chief Ngabu of Chikwawa pushed the blame to the elected leaders whom he accused of lacking political will.
But Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa pushed the responsibility back to the chiefs.
While acknowledging knowledge of the issue, Nankhumwa said government was yet to tackle it.
He said: “When the issue was brought up we requested the proposers to make it formal by, among others, explaining why they need it so as a ministry we should look into it but until today we have not received any communication from them.”