Paramount Chief Lundu was in his element last Thursday. If he was not labelling opposition leaders rebels, he was renaming his district from ‘Chikhwawa’ back to ‘Chikwawa’.

I do not know what illegal stuff the veritable chief was high on but it was on his watch when Lands Surveyor Downs Chitheka suggested to the late president Bingu wa Mutharika that ‘Chikwawa’ was a corruption of the name ‘Chikhwawa’.

The surveyor told Bingu ‘Chikhwawa’ means ‘a deep, vast valley’ but the combination of ‘kh’ was too much on the tongue of the British colonialists, so they corrupted the name to ‘Chikwawa’.

So Bingu, without an Act of Parliament, re-named the district ‘Chikhwawa’.

Now Lundu comes back unabashedly to reclaim the ‘corrupted’ name ‘Chikwawa’? Was the chief drunk or stoned? Why did he not protest when Bingu changed the name in the first place? 

Does he know the cost of the district name-change? We have to change our national maps, street signs, letter-heads, text books et al! Who is going to fund that?

Apart from the crazy idea of changing the district name, the good chief…well, leaders are ever supposed to be good all the time… rattled something about those challenging Ama being ‘rebels’. Does the good chief know what a rebel is?

The paramount chief needs to be reminded that as a country, we chose multiparty democracy so that all registered political parties have a right to exist. There is absolutely nothing wrong for one to belong to any political party or even not to belong to any party.

It is high time our chiefs were taught what their roles really are. The same Lundu was yavi yavi saying Peter Mutharika was the best thing to happen to Malawi when Bingu was alive. Now Bingu is dead he tells us Peter is a rebel? Really?

I think the Chief’s Act should be strengthenedto spell out actual roles of chiefs. If a chief crosses the Rubicon there must be penalties, including dethronement.  

All multiparty chiefs have allowed themselves to be abused by politicians in one way or the other. It is high time we checked this.

If Joyce Banda loses these elections Paramount Chief Lundu will still be a chief. Imagine what he will say when the new president visits his area.

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