Someone better stop Ngoni chiefs in their tracks before they poison our children and the entire nation with their hate speeches.
Why do I say so, you may ask? Well, it has been two bad months for the Ngoni chiefs. It all started when they snubbed the church.
The chiefs in Mzimba, led by his Inkosi M’mbelwa V, lashed out at the Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP for preaching against taking beer and engaging in polygamy.
The chief warned the church that it risks being kicked out of his kingdom.
He went on to say that the Ngonis signed a memorandum of understanding with the first missionaries of the Free Church of Scotland, now the Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP, to allow his subjects to drink beer and marry many wives.
The Ngoni subjects—whether still in their drunken stupor—ululated as their chief went on to say the church has no mandate whatsoever to interfere in their culture, beer and polygamy. One of them even shouted at Livingstonia Synod general secretary Reverend Levi Nyondo: ‘Vyako ivo, nimudauko withu!’ (It’s part of our culture).
Feeling rather embarrassed, the church officials walked out on the chiefs in protest.
Last Saturday, the Ngoni chiefs who gathered to celebrate the life of Mmbelwa IV were at it again. This time, they lambasted other chiefs who get involved in politics.
Senior Chief Mtwalo boasted that Malawians will never see traditional leaders from Mzimba meddle in politics let alone parade on State-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) to endorse a political party or politicians.
He challenged that even if they were to be invited to parade on MBC; the chiefs would turn down the offer.
What a baloney! The Ngoni chiefs, Mtwalo and others, need to slow down on picking fights.
A handful of chiefs in this country can claim to have stayed away from politics, as the majority of them are still knee deep in politics because of money.
Memories are still fresh when Ngoni chiefs were the loudest voices when it came to endorsing political parties prior to 2014 elections.
In fact, during Joyce Banda’s reign, between 2012 and 2014, she enjoyed massive support of Ngoni chiefs in Mzimba because she picked their ‘son’, Khumbo Kachale, who comes from that area as the country’s vice president.
Even when it came to protests of dissent, under the umbrella of Chiefs Council, some Ngoni chiefs were part of the traditional leaders in 2016 who were holding press meetings to denounce sentiments reportedly made by some political leaders at the All Inclusive Conference Public Affairs Committee (Pac) meeting that called for President Peter Mutharika to stand down after 30 days for failing to run the country.
It is, therefore, clear that the money taps from government have dried up in Mzimba; hence, the sudden change of tune from these traditional leaders.
The issues Ngoni chiefs are raising have nothing to do with maintaining integrity of the chieftainship, because I think it’s too late to do that now. Corruption, as we know remains a serious and deepening problem among them and there is little to salvage. Chieftaincy lost its value a long time ago.
Most of our traditional leaders forgot long time ago on the role of a chief.
We on the streets believe that chiefs cannot be isolated from the daily political grind. They need to be out there participating in politics, if they are to fulfill their responsibilities to protect their people and their resources.
But they need to be responsible and act in good faith as leaders.
Word on the street is that it’s high time, the Ngoni chiefs stopped picking fights and promoted unity and peace.
Hate speeches will not build this poor nation.