The Minister of National Unity, Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo, has appealed to warring factions in the Chikulamayembe Chieftaincy wrangle to sheathe their daggers.
The appeal follows revelation that an innocent and hapless child is nursing life-threatening wounds after being burnt in a house the child was sleeping in.
The house was reportedly burnt by a faction of the Chikulamayembe families, which is opposed to the installation of Joseph Bongololo Gondwe as the new Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe in Rumphi.
Mtambo, in a press statement shared with Nyasa Times, said his ministry learnt with sadness about the violence leading into physical assaults and destruction of property at Bolero Trading Centre.
He described the violence as “regrettable because Malawi is a country of laws with necessary setup redress mechanism as such any form of mob justice is illegal and unacceptable.”
“These developments are extremely sad and intolerable by any civilized society. Malawi is always known as a warm heart of Africa because of her friendly and peace-loving people. In particular, since time immemorial the Nkhamanga Kingdom, to which the Chikulamayembe chieftaincy is traced, and its great people have always been associated with peace and coexistence. The Ministry earnestly believes that the people of Nkhamanga kingdom will not allow that beautiful history to be erased because of any misunderstanding.
“The Ministry is further concerned because violence has never been a solution to any differences because, instead of achieving solutions, it only begets destruction, derail development and affect the most vulnerable in the concerned society,” says Mtambo in the statement.
The minister reminds the Tumbuka people that at the heart of Malawi’s cultures and traditions are the binding values of uMunthu.
He said it is important that Malawians realize that “we are all human only to the extent that we recognize and treat each other with respect demanded by their inherent dignity and rights.”
“Furthermore, the laws of Malawi provide for peaceful settlement of disputes through negotiation, good offices, mediation, conciliation and arbitration. Malawi’s national anthem too calls upon God, the Almighty, to keep the Republic of Malawi, a land of peace. Similarly, Malawi Vision 2063 recognises that sustainable peace and security are crucial for the creation of a sound, competitive and equitable environment for economic development. Thus, sustainable development will not be realised, whether at national or community level, without peace and security.”
“It is with this understanding in mind that the Ministry of National Unity unreservedly condemns the violence and destruction of property, including the attack of the Deputy Minister of Health, on 12th of May 2022 at Bolero Trading Centre in Rumphi District. The Ministry of National Unity appeals for peace and calm between the concerned parties, and calls upon community leaders, traditional and religious leaders, women and youth alike, to keep calm and resolve all differences through peaceful means,” reads the statement.
Mtambo says his ministry is engaging the concerned parties to ensure that there is peace and stability in the Nkhamanga kingdom and that in light of this development, the Ministry of National Unity appeals to the concerned parties to ceasefire and actively participate in the engagement and dialogue process to achieve healing and sustainable peace.
The minister states that engagements shall involve all the stakeholders in order to explore and identify lasting solution to the conflict so that peace and tranquillity is restored in Rumphi District and among the people of the Nkhamanga Kingdom.
President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera installed Joseph Bongololo Gondwe as the new Tumbuka King amid resistance from the Mtima Gondwe family.
The Bongololo and Mtima camps have been fighting despite President Chakwera calling for an end to chieftaincy wrangle after the installation ceremony at Bolero Trading Centre.