A group calling itself Concerned Citizens has come to the defence of leader of opposition in Parliament Lazaraus Chakwera, faulting some Chewa chiefs who attacked him for his assessment of the Peter Mutharika administration.
The group, comprising at least 20 citizens claiming to be Chewas, visited various media houses in Lilongwe, including The Nation, to express their views against the stand taken by the chiefs.
One member, Jabesi Malungama, who claims to run a butchery in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chiseka in Lilongwe, said the chiefs overstepped their mandate by directly attacking Chakwera in a partisan manner.
He described the move by chiefs as disappointing and undemocratic and further questioned their motive to defend government blindly amid economic hardships.
Said Malungama: “It is not only the Chewa people that have been affected with the persistent blackouts and shortage of water. It is every Malawian that has been affected by the economy.”
He challenged the chiefs to become positive contributors to nation building and solutions to the challenges than playing the role of cheap defenders of failed government policies.
Rodrick Banda, a farmer from Kasiya close to Chakwera’s home village, said Malawians are dismayed by the worsening culture of chiefs hand-clapping for government despite its inability to raise the standards of living or improve service delivery.
Last week, the chiefs led by Paramount Chief Lundu waded into partisan politics when they held a press conference and criticised Chakwera for showing no respect to the President in his recent address to the nation when he said the Mutharika administration has failed the country.
During the news conference, the traditional leaders made a decree that no opposition party representative should be allowed to make a speech at a high level funeral of any chief in the country, saying only government officials be allowed to speak. n