Written by Martin Chiwanda
Nsanje, March 6, 2019: Government has maintained its stand that no acting traditional authority should be allowed to attend council meetings and activities in view of the fact that such people were not recognized by the Chiefs Act.
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Spokesperson, Muhlabase Mughogho reaffirmed government’s stand in an interview with Malawi News Agency on Friday.
She said acting chiefs were not recognized at Council level and such structures are only recognized at local level.
The Spokesperson pointed out most of the chieftaincy wrangles have been there due to prolonged stay in the acting capacity because of the attached benefits to such positions.
“Acting chiefs are not recognized at council level. They are not allowed to take part in any district council meeting. They are only recognized at community level,” Mughogho added.
Nsanje Action Aid Malawi Local Rights Programmes Coordinator, Maclean Chimpeni said communities would be denied the much-needed development if the acting chiefs were recognized at council level.
He observed that it is at council level where development issues are planned and distributed such that restricting acting chiefs from attending such forums would be denying the communities development which is their birth right.
Chimpeni urged government to come up with laws which would guide the duration of someone to be in an acting position.
“What government can do is to pass a law which can guide chiefs’ succession plan and how one can act. A period of acting should be clearly stated in the laws. Government should make sure that cultural issues should not supersede laws,” he said.