Village headmen in Chikhwawa have accused Traditional Authority (T/A) Chapananga of fraudulently selling land and receiving bribes from other chiefs in order to promote them.
According to the lower chiefs, T/A Chapananga pocketed K10,000 each from 450 people who wanted to be installed as chiefs or to be promoted.
“On the ground, there are about 103 Group Village Headmen and 512 Village Headmen, but the district council recognises only 12 Group Village Headmen and 101 Village Headmen,” said a village headman who did want to be named.
Another village headman said the T/A has without success been pushing the district council to incorporate the chiefs he installed on the payroll. Chapananga is also reported to have sold off two houses and land belonging to Admarc and Changoima Extension Planning Area (EPA) respectively at Changoima.
“The trouble is that the two Admarc officers who are manning the Admarc depots have been evicted from the houses and have been given temporary shelters by one of the concerned persons,” said the village headman.
When asked to comment on the accusations, Chapananga said he increased the number of village headmen and group village headmen in the district after instructions from former President Joyce Banda.
He refuted claims that he pocketed money from them saying the district commissioner knew about the issue since he consulted the district council.
He said: “The chiefs in question were installed during the time of Joyce Banda. I was just instructed to install some people and they were paid once. How and why they have never been paid all this while, I don’t know, maybe the district commissioner will be able to respond to that. “They were endorsed by the council and am equally wondering why they are not on payroll just like other chiefs elsewhere.”