Minister of Local Government Ben Phiri has installed Mtima Gondwe as Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe despite disagreements among members of the royal family.
Malawi24 can confirm that Mtima Gondwe is now the new Chikulamayembe, replacing his late father Walter Gondwe who died last year.
The ceremony was held at Chinyolo in Rumphi, 45 kilometers away from Chikulamayembe’s headquarters located at Bolero in Rumphi.
According to a source, the ceremony was shifted due to security reasons.
“Our plan was to have the ceremony at Bolero but because of the misunderstanding we shifted to Rumphi Boma. However, Government officials advised us to change the venue to Chinyolo,” he said.
Speaking during the ceremony, Minister Phiri said the chieftainship is from the family and government does not choose a chief.
“This is our culture and we cannot change this, before the chief dies every family knows who is next in line,” said Phiri.
During the same ceremony, Senior Group Village Headman Kawazamawe was promoted to Sub Chief Kawazamawe.
The installation ceremony for Chikulamayembe failed to take place after Mtima Gondwe’s cousin, Joseph Bongololo Gondwe claimed that he was the right person to be named the next Chikulamayembe.
This morning, Bongololo’s supporters blocked Mtima Gondwe’s vehicle, stoned another vehicle and set on fire the Chikulamayembe headquarters at Bolero in Rumphi.