The beleaguered Traditional Authority (T/A) Bvumbwe of Thyolo, reported to be in hiding by his people over death threats, is back and said is in full control of his area.
Bvumbwe, who crossed paths with the ruling People’s Party (PP) over remarks at the funeral of High Court judge Joseph Manyungwa attended by Malawi President Joyce Banda on April 28, dismissed media reports that he was in hiding or missing.
The chief in an interview with public-funded broadcaster MBC said he went away to Zomba, Ntcheu and Mwanza to seek advice on a matter that bothered him, but did not disclose what it was.
Bvumbwe said he was under State security the period he was reported to be hiding or missing and thanked government for that.
The youthful T/A, during the burial ceremony of the late Manyungwa, told President Joyce Banda that he was disappointed with the distribution of PP T-shirts at the funeral.
The chief openly told the President that it should never happen again, and if the party officials wanted, they could hold political rallies and distribute the T-shirts there.
But President Banda, during installation of Senior Chief Mponda in Mangochi on Saturday, hit back at T/A Bvumbwe, arguing the chief was claiming he was missing, but all they knew was that he was busy drinking kachasu (the local distilled spirit).
The President said T/A Bvumbwe needed deliverance as his subjects have on several occasions carried him home because of drunkenness.
Bvumbwe’s subjects, including his relatives last week, mobilised themselves and marched to Bvumbwe Police Station, to press for an explanation on the missing chief.
Thyolo district commissioner (DC) Lawford Palani confirmed in an interview last week that the chief was getting death threats and insults from unknown people.
The DC said Bvumbwe Police station officer Lilian Nkhoma telephoned him earlier to find out if he knew the whereabouts of the chief.
The ruling PP, led by Brown Mpinganjira, approached Thyolo DC last week and asked him to organise chiefs to apologise to President Banda over remarks made by Bvumbwe.