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Chief bars subordinates from opposition rallies

Just a week after Senior Chief Mwankhunikira in Rumphi told Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Lazarus Chakwera, that chiefs have goodwill for
Chakwera, on Saturday, the chiefs, ordered his subordinate chiefs to stop patronizing Chakwera’s rallies.
He argued that chiefs work with the government of the day and further asked other chiefs not to speak in their capacity as chiefs at any opposition party’s gathering within his jurisdiction.
Mwankhunikira said chiefs should give total support to President Peter Mutharika and his Cabinet.
The chief was speaking at a rally DPP conducted at Mkombezi in the district over the weekend.
“I am saying if chiefs are going there [party rallies], they are attending without my consent. What will they speak because they are under somebody
[Mwankhunikira]?
Chiefs are under Local Government. They are supposed not to be attending those rallies,” Mwankhunikira argued.
But one of the country’s social commentators, Charles Kajaloweka, has described Mwankhunikira’s conduct as “political corruption”.
Kajoweka said the chief has no right to ban his juniors from attending other parties’ rallies apart from DPP.
“Chiefs are supposed to be neutral, and Mwankhunikira’s sentiments should not be condoned in the country.
Chiefs should welcome all parties in the areas because they belong to everybody. Malawians must never tolerate political corruption like this order symbolises,” Kajoweka said.
Mwankhuniki ra’s order comes hot on the heels of sentiments made by one of his subordinates Group Village Head Vunda who demanded that chiefs have political freedom and not be forced to side with the party in power.

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