Traditional Authority Vuso Jere in Ntchisi has asked Nkhoma Synod to reopen Chinthembwe Health Centre, saying villagers are facing difficulties in accessing health care.
The health facility was closed after land disputes that started some years back involving Nkhoma Synod and community members of Chinthembwe mainly Chaola and Chiliwilo villages in the area of Traditional Authority Vuso Jere.
Some health workers at the facility were also receiving threats.
On Wednesday, Ntchisi District Council, Ntchisi Police Station, Nkhoma Synod and Traditional Authority Vuso Jere held a meeting at Ntchisi Community Development hall to resolve the land dispute.
During the meeting, Vice moderator for Nkhoma Synod Reverend Philip J Kambulire said communities of Chinthembwe encroached the area of the mission.
“The two villages encroached the area for Nkhoma Synod and started cutting down trees posing a threat to people at the mission”, the moderator said.
Chief Jere apologised to Nkhoma Synod members for the conduct of the villagers and begged them to reopen the health centre.
“Communities at Chinthembwe are now having problems to access health care services due to the closure of the health facility. I therefore apologize for the conduct of my subordinates and ask the authorities to reopen the facility”, the local leader said.
In his remarks Ntchisi acting district commissioner, Dr. Zondwayo Ng’oma who is also director of health and social services for Ntchisi District Hospital said as a district they cannot unilaterally solve land wrangles without involving security agencies.
“Issues of threats that health workers and church members were receiving at Chinthembwe Mission cannot just go free without involvement of the police to take note,” said Dr Ng’oma.
On his part, station officer for Ntchisi police station senior superintendent Billy Chimbonga thanked all stakeholders for involving the police on the discussions.
Chinthembwe is the first CCAP church to be established in Ntchisi district by the missionaries in the early 1900.