Divisions have emerged among Lhomwe chiefs on who should replace the fallen Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa following the appointment of Senior Chief Kaduya of Phalombe as Acting Paramount Chief.
Kaduya is awaiting Mini s t r y of Local Government’s approval to be fully elevated as a Lhomwe leader.
The Mulhakho wa Alhomwe board of trustees two weeks ago announced that following the death of Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa in July 2019, the chiefs and the board agreed to elevate Kaduya as Acting Paramount Chief.
But this has not pleased some of the chiefs, who claimed that Kaduya is not eligible for the position because she is not a Lhomwe.
Following the appointment of Kaduya, two parallel groups yesterday held two different meetings in Phalombe and Thyolo, respectively.
The Phalombe meeting, held at Kaduya’s headquarters and led by Traditional Authority (T/A) Boidi of Thyolo, also unveiled Kaduya as the Lhomwe leader.
The other group, led by Senior Chief Nkhulambe of Phalombe and T/A Ngolongoliwa, held their meeting at Chonde in Thyolo where they agreed to petition the Local Government Ministry not to accept Kaduya’s name.
The opposition group argued that Kaduya belongs to the Mang’anja tribe and cannot be a Lhomwe paramount chief. They also accused Mulhakho wa Alhomwe board chairperson Leston Mulli of imposing Kaduya as Acting Paramount Chief.
“Tikufuna alhomwe ayang’anile alhomwe anzawo [we want Lhomwes to be led by a Lhomwe],” reads their letter in part, dated February 28 2021, co-signed by Nkhulambe, Ngolongoliwa and six group village heads.
But in an interview yesterday, Mulli said the decision to elevate Kaduya was made by chiefs who presented the name to the board for approval.
He accused the opposition camp of being jealous of Kaduya.
Said Mulli: “Senior Chief Kaduya was chosen by chiefs themselves. They said she has vast experience as the late Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa would delegate her to many events.”
When contacted, T/A Saidi Mataka of Machinga agreed with Mulli, saying he attended the several chief meetings which endorsed Kaduya.
Ministry of Local Government spokesperson Anjoya Mwanza yesterday said the ministry has not received any complaint on the Lhomwe chieftaincy.