Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa V, the paramount chief of the Jere Ngoni in Mzimba, has called for the protection of his throne.
M’mbelwa said he recently asked government to recognise the country’s biggest district by size, Mzimba, as a kingdom so that he becomes a king because some people in the district want their leaders to become paramount chiefs.
He said the district cannot have two paramount chiefs, stressing he wants to protect the power hierarchy of Mzimba Ngonis.
The Jere Ngoni paramount chief is alleging that some people identified as Friends of Mabilabo want to have another Ngoni paramount chief within the district.
His claims have come against the background of government elevating Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabilabo to senior chief last week Saturday in Mzimba where M’mbelwa stated that the Ngoni power hierarchy cannot be manipulated.
Speaking in an interview on Thursday, M’mbelwa V said there are Friends of Mabilabo who want to have a paramount chief in Mzimba, a thing he said is not applicable among the Ngonis.
He said if that were to happen, the M’mbelwa chieftaincy should be elevated to the position of king to preserve the power hierarchy.
Said M’mbelwa V: “I was only trying to protect my position. I am not demanding for a kingdom as people put it, but there are people who were saying that they also want a paramount chief in Mabilabo.
“We cannot have two paramount chiefs, so I was only trying to protect my position that if there will be another paramount chief, I should also be elevated to king.”
But newly-elevated Senior Chief Mabilabo said he has never heard of calls for a paramount chief in his area.
He said he, too, was equally surprised when he heard M’mbelwa V stating that some people want another paramount chief in the district.
On what could have pushed M’mbelwa V to seek protection of his supremacy, Mabilabo said he cannot speak on behalf of the paramount chief.
M’mbelwa District Council (Mzimba) ward councillors who are pushing for split of Mzimba have faulted Paramount Chief M’mbelwa for prioritising kingdom talk, saying what people want is splitting of the district to faciliate development.
Fumu Mdolo, who brought before the M’mbelwa District Council the idea of splitting Mzimba District, on Wednesday said people in the district are calling for the split of the district and not a kingdom.
He said the demands of the grass-roots have to be respected.
Mdolo said in a democracy, people’s demands matter, adding bottom-up approach is always the right way to do things.
He said: “We work with people and what they are demanding is that the district be split into three or four. I have not heard anyone saying they want a kingdom.
“People are suffering because the district is too big and resources allocated are not enough. Splitting the district will see more resources being allocated and people benefiting.”
Reacting to the councillors’ calls for multiple districts, M’mbelwa V said the issue was already tackled and cannot be revived.