Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of Karonga Diocese has stopped the construction of nine houses and rehabilitation of eight for people displaced by the 2017 and 2018 fracas in Paramount Chief Kyungu in Karonga.
The fracas, caused by witchcraft accusations, led to the demolition of 17 houses in Mwenitete, Mwawembe and Mwangonde-Mwankenja villages.
CCJP under Internally Displaced People Project launched a peace-building initiative to unite the three warring villages. As part of the project, CCJP distributes food and non-food items to the community members and started building houses for the victims. But in the process, the community members fought again last month.
Speaking during the distribution of food and non-food items on Friday at Mwenitete, Karonga Diocese vicar general Monsignor Denis Chitete said the project sought to promote peace to enhance development.
He said: “As a diocese, we believe in peace and coexistence. The distribution of these items seek to enhance the peace-building process.
“However, we have noted lack of commitment by the community and their leaders towards the initiative; hence, the decision to halt the construction and rehabilitation of the 17 houses.”
On his part, Edward Njeghenje, who spoke on behalf of group village head Kalambo, blamed the breakdown of communication between chiefs and the diocese.
“Chiefs are committed to ending conflicts in the area. Traditional leaders met and resolved the three villages’ differences and they agreed not to engage in wrangles again,” he said.
Karonga District Peace Committee chairperson the Reverend Patricia Mzumara said her office is still engaging the warring villages to reconcile.
With funding from the Diocese of Rottenburg-Sttutgart in Germany, CCJP is providing relief food items and farm inputs to people in traditional authorities Kyungu and Kilupula.