Some chiefs in the Northern Region have condemned calls for President Peter Mutharika to resign, arguing that the proposed action is not an answer to the food crisis and economic challenges the country is facing.
The chiefs, who get petty honoraria, spent a night and held a press conference at Grand Palace Hotel, one of the top hotels in Mzuzu City, to protest against calls for Mutharika’s resignation.
Eight senior chiefs and traditional authorities (T/As) were present at the press conference held on Monday.
On several occasions, government has been accused of using chiefs to fight opposition to its unpopular decisions.
Senior Chief Mpherembe of Mzimba, who chaired the briefing, claimed that chiefs in the region are against calls for Mutharika to resign, saying the opposition should wait until 2019.
“This [resignation] will only bring tension in the country. We have to be cautious and ensure that there is peace. We do not want to lose lives,” he said.
Senior Chief Mkumbira of Nkhata Bay claimed that no one has the potential to fix the problems affecting the country, saying change of leadership is not the solution, but unity in the face of the problems.
Senior Chief Kameme of Chitipa said chiefs appreciate the hunger situation, crumbling economy and other problems the country is facing, but people should not point fingers at Mutharika.
However, conspicuously missing were all the region’s three paramount chiefs, namely Chikulamayembe, Kyungu and M’mbelwa V.
Mpherembe said M’mbelwa was away and that Kyungu was engaged, but could not explain Chikulamayembe’s absence.
He claimed that the Chiefs’ Forum met bills at the hotel despite conceding that the forum does not have sufficient funds.
People’s Party spokesperson Ken Msonda, whose party wants Mutharika to step down, said the party respects the chiefs and cannot condemn their stand, adding that they have a right to their opinion.
He, however, said the calls the opposition is making should not be politicised as the opposition is acting because of people’s suffering.