Disagreements over land have ensued between Kamuzu Academy management and people of Mphonongo Village in Traditional Authority Wimbe in Kasungu where the school is located.
In an interview last week, group village head (GVH) Mphonongo said community members were feeling marginalised in decision-making issues to do with the prestigious high school.
He said several issues need to be addressed, including the inclusion of the Mphonongo and Chayamba clans in the Kamuzu Academy board of trustees and immediate halting of the lease of Kamuzu Academy’s Estate 27.
Mphonongo said Malawi’s founding president, the late Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who founded the school, was the son of Mphonongo, but the family has been excluded from the school’s governance structure.
“Dr Banda had roots from three clans, namely Mphonongo, Chiwengo being the mother and Chayamba the grandfather. But Mphonongo and Chayamba clans are being sidelined in favour of the Chiwengo clan,” he said.
However, the bone of contention this time is the looming sub-leasing of the 489-hectare Kamuzu Academy’s Estate Number 27, which the people demand that it should be suspended.
But Pempho Likongwe, legal adviser for Kamuzu Academy’s board of governors, said the people encroached on the estate.
He said: “It should be stressed that the decision to sub-lease out Estate Number 27 was made through the collective decisions of the board of governors and the board of trustees.
“Neither GVH Mphonongo nor any other person in Mphonongo Village own any part of Estate Number 27.”
Senior Chief Kaomba, who is board of trustees chairperson, said they are duty-bound to safeguard the academy’s property.
“We have all the documentation that the estate belongs to Kamuzu Academy. It is being managed by Kamuzu Academy trustees,” he said.