Karonga, Chitipa chiefs challenge court’s ruling on Kyungu’s supremacy


Chiefs from Karonga and Chitipa districts have vowed to challenge a court ruling which says that the law recognises Paramount Chief Kyungu as leader of Karonga only.

The traditional leaders say they will continue recognising the paramount chief as their supreme leader, saying history cannot be erased.

Kameme (C) We have summoned two ministers-Picture by Jordan Simeon-Phiri

Speaking in an interview after a one day meeting at Mikoma Lodge held Thursday that drew all chiefs from the two districts, senior chief Kameme of Chitipa said the consensus was reached to challenge a recent ruling that the Lilongwe High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire made which nullified the recognition of Kyungu as the supreme leader of the two districts.

According to the ruling made on January 18, 2019, Mkandawire the Judge put it on record that according to section 3 of the Chiefs Act as read with the schedule, Kyungu’s jurisdiction covers only Karonga district but that may be at custom it extends to Chitipa.

However, senior chief Kameme said the chiefs’ council meeting resolved to seek clarification of the ruling, saying while the chiefs respect the independence of the courts, they feel the judge erred as history of the Kyungu dynasty over the two districts dates back to more than 600 years ago and that cannot be changed.

He said during colonial era, there was Peter Kyungu whose jurisdiction was from Chitipa to Karonga then Fort Hills and this has been the case from 1600 AD up until early 1960’s after Independence when the late Kamuzu Banda divided the district into two, Karonga and Chitipa.

“Yes it is true that we had a meeting where we agreed to challenge the ruling that Judge Mkandawire made through ministerial interpretation. We will continue recognizing Paramount Chief Kyungu as the supreme leader for the two districts up until this is cleared.

“To that effect, we have agreed to summon the Ministers of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Mr. Samuel Tembenu and Local Government and Rural Development Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa respectively to come here as soon as possible and interpret the ruling that the Lilongwe High Court Judge made recently to us so that we understand what exactly it means,” Kameme said.

However, spokesperson for Local Government and Rural Development Mulhabase Mughogho said her office is yet to get communication from the chief’s council as regards to the issue.

The meeting was attended by the Karonga-Chitipa Heritage including the nullified Chief Mwabulambya of Chitipa as well as well renowned historians Burnet Kamwambi and Dr. Du Mhango.