Tension is growing around Bolero, the headquarters of the Chikulamayembe chieftaincy in Rumphi District, where Joseph Bongololo Gondwe is expected to be installed as Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe XIII tomorrow.
While the Bongololo side says all is set for the ceremony, the rival camp of Mtima Gondwe, who has been acting paramount chief, has vowed to stop the installation to be presided over by President Lazarus Chakwera from taking place.
On Wednesday at Bolero Roundabout, young people were seen blocking the road as they welcomed Mtima to the area.
But principal group village head Chikalamba Gondwe, speaking on behalf of the Bongololo side, said all was set for Saturday.
He said: “We are set, but you know when such big things happen, there are bound to be others who are not happy like what we witnessed at Bolero Roundabout on Wednesday. But they were just children.
“Thursday is for rehearsals on speeches and dances and we are ready to have President Lazarus Chakwera and all dignitaries come.”
However, principal group village head Hunga Gondwe, who speaks for the Mtima Gondwe camp, said yesterday that they will not accept the installation to take place.
He said: “I don’t think they will proceed with the installation. The President has several petitions on his table and he has not acted on them, so how would he proceed to install Bongololo?
“If they proceed, then we will have two ceremonies. We will proceed to install Mtima at a traditional ceremony and that means two paramount chiefs.”
Mtima, son to late Walter John Hardy Gondwe, was installed Paramount Chief in 2019, but the High Court in Mzuzu nullified the installation last year on the premise that it was unconstitutional.
On March 12 this year, Chakwera appointed Bongololo as the Tumbuka chief, but this has met resistance form the Mtima camp.