A village head and his subjects in Ntchisi have been banned from attending social gatherings following disagreements between the chief and other village heads in the area.
MANA understands that Village Headman Peku Woyera and his entire village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Malenga became victims following a land dispute.
Peku won the dispute at a village tribunal presided over by senior group village heads Malenga, Peku Wakuda and Munkana.
“My seniors presided over the case and when I emerged the winner, they agreed to punish me and my entire village by banning me from any social gathering, including shopping from our trading centre,” said Peku Woyera, whose real name is Tisiyenji Daniyele.
Peku said among other things, he and his subjects are banned from attending funerals, weddings, and development activities.
Even boys and girls had been barred from participating in football and netball matches, he said.
“Our women were withdrawn from Village Savings and Loans [VSL] groups and even farming clubs. One of them had her groceries snatched from her after emerging from a shop at the trading centre.
“We are forced to walk about five kms to Ng’ombe Trading Centre to do our shopping which is very far,” he said.
T/A Malenga admitted to have knowledge of the ban but said it was imposed by his tribunal after Village headman Peku defiantly ignored summons he got from the tribunal.
Malenga said as a tradition, small punishments are imposed on people who are defiant to traditional authorities as a way of disciplining them. On why the whole village is affected by the ban, Malenga said the land dispute involved the whole village.
But Programmes Officer for Ntchisi Organisation for Youth and Development (Noyd) Clement Zindondo said the villagers’ right to association was infringed and there was need for the villagers to be helped.
The punishment imposed on the village head and his subjects is very common among chiefs in Ntchisi as a lot of chiefs have appeared before Ntchisi Magistrate’s Court after being dragged to court for violation of right to association. n