When Malawi President Joyce Banda conducted the official installation of Paramount Chief Kyungu Nsangalufu Clement Mwakabanga III at his Kasoba headquarters in Karonga on Saturday, Senior Chief Karonga was conspicuously missing from the installation itinerary.
Neither the President nor the director of ceremonies and all other dignitaries who spoke at the function made mention of the Senior Chief Karonga who was allocated an ordinary seat at the function.
Ironically, Paramount Kyungu, who was reportedly ill at the time, also missed the elevation ceremony of Senior Chief Karonga by the late president Bingu wa Mutharika. But earlier reports indicated that Kyungu would not attend the function because he was not consulted on Traditional Authority (T/A) Karongaâ€™s elevation.
The T/A Karonga chieftaincy has been rocked in controversy since former president Bakili Muluzi appointed him as traditional authority in the Kyungu lineage.
President Banda said she decided to elevate Paramount Kyungu because she was convinced that he would help her in developing the country.
However, Banda urged Kyungu to put the past behind him and tolerate all his subjects.
Banda also pledged to rehabilitate the mausoleum of one of the countryâ€™s freedom fighters Dunduzu Chisiza Seniorâ€”whose crypt she visitedâ€”and that she would review terms of reference and emoluments for chiefs to make the uniform.
Chairperson for the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), Undule Mwakasungula, who is close to the Kyungu chieftaincy, commenting on why Senior Chief Karonga was missing on the itinerary, said in an interview that the public must appreciate that there were a lot of issues surrounding the Karonga chieftaincy and the previous regimes.
â€œI believe Karonga was not giving the right information about the Kyungu chieftaincy to government. The previous administration was using Karonga to undermine the Kyungu but I am sure the new paramount chief will look into this and together with the DC work out the role of Karonga,â€ said Mwakasungula.
Commenting on the installation of Paramount Chief Kyungu, Senior Chief Kaomba of KasunguÂ said in an interview that he was happy that government had finally recognised Kyungu.