Bishop of Karonga Diocese of the Catholic Church Martin Mtumbuka has urged members of Chikulamayembe royal family to find an heir acceptable by all sides.
The cleric, who is chairing a task force to resolve the Chikulamayembe chieftaincy wrangles, said this on Monday at Rumphi Boma when he briefed representatives of Bongololo Gondwe and Mtima Gondwe who are at the centre of the dispute.
Mtumbuka described the dispute as a shame to the Tumbuka people.
He said: “Tumbukas are known for being peace-loving people. The chieftaincy wrangles do not represent the values of the Tumbuka.
“I hope that going forward all royal family members will work towards finding a solution to the wrangles.”
In an interview after the meeting, Mtumbuka said the main task of the mediation team was to unite the warring factions.
He said: “We will not impose a candidate on the royal family.
“We just want the royal family members to resolve their differences so that they can come up with a candidate for the Chikulamayembe Paramount Chieftaincy who is acceptable to both parties.”
In his remarks, acting Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe’s spokesperson group village head Hunga Gondwe said he was confident in the mediation team.
His Bongololo camp counterpart, Stowel Gondwe, said the nomination of Bongololo Gondwe followed the directive of Ministry of Local Government which, among others, tasked the responsibility of nominating the next paramount chief to “pure” members of the royal family.
Last month, a meeting of Chikulamayembe royal family members nominated Bongololo for the paramount chieftaincy, but his nomination has since faced resistance from the camp of acting Paramount chief Chikulamayembe, Mtima Gondwe.
Other members of the mediating team are paramount Chiefs Kyungu of Karonga and Chitipa and Inkosi ya Makhosi M’Mbelwa of the Jere Ngoni in Mzimba.