CHITIPA-(MaraviPost)-Members of family of Traditional Authority (T/A) Nthalire in Chitipa the northern border district of Malawi have defied the high court order of not installing Ackim Kawonga to the position of TA.
This reporter understand that the court order follows a letter which the claimant, Judge Kawonga, through his lawyer, George Kadzipatike, served Nankhumwa and the District commissioner (DC) challenging their decision to proceed with the installation while the matter was in court.
Confirming the development in a phone interview, Ackim Kawonga said his installation is in accordance with their cultural ways of elevating someone to the position of TA.
When asked if their are not aware of the court order, Ackim Kawonga said the order was given to the District Commissioner’s office and not the family.
According to him, everyone including his competitors are happy with the family decision thus why there is no any noise.
“Our culture allows our loyal chairperson to bless the installation ceremony of TA and not government. Government is there to support our decision, therefore we don’t see any problem with its absence. You are suppose to address me as TA Nthalire not Ackim Kawonga” he said.
He then vowed to bring development to the area without sidelining anyone.
The installation ceremony according to him occurred on Sunday the day the Minister of Local Government, Kondwani Nankhumwa was expect to grace it.
Chitipa District Commissioner, Michael Chimbalanga confirmed to be aware about the development.
However, he said as government, they are not recognizing Ackim Kawonga as TA Nthalire officially until the court order is vacated and that the whole family agree to it.
“I am aware about that and I don’t see any problem because that is their culture. We shall recognized him after the court order is vacated and holding the official installation” he said.
In the letter, Kadzipatike warns the DC and the government that the installation would have been illegal.
“Guide the minister to pend the installation until conclusion of the matter in High Court,” reads the letter in part.
The Nthalire chieftaincy came under dispute last year following the death of the then T/A, Rabson Kawonga in August.
Judge Kawonga who claims to be the legitimate heir to the throne sued his brother Ackim and DC for Chitipa for recognising the former as an heir and letting him operate in acting capacity.
Through his legal counsel Kadzipatike, Judge argues that the Nthalire chieftaincy rotates among three royal families of Chikunguweya, Zambwe and Chalaghala.
In the court summons filed in December, it is stated that after the death of Rabson, who came from the Chaghalala family, it is now the turn of the Chikunguweya family to which Judge belongs.
The first defendant—Ackim— belongs to the Zambwe family.
“Before the introduction of the rotation, the Nthalire chieftaincy had only one royal family, namely the claimants Chikunguweya Family but the other two families came through the backdoor during the one-party era which removed the legally crowned Traditional Authority Reuben Kawonga due to political reasons in 1963,” reads the summons in part.
Adding: “The Claimant is of the view that the Acting Traditional Authority Nthalire ought to and must come from the Chikunguweya Family, because this is the turn of the Chikunguweya family to take over the throne.”
Kadzipatike asked the court to invalidate the DC’s decision of recognising Ackim as T/A and also restraining him from executing duties.
But before the court made its determination on the matter, the government intended to conduct the installation, a decision which the claimant disapproved