Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga has embarked on an apparent revenge operation against his critics who, among other issues, spoke against his and government’s decision to name the Chitipa- Karonga Road stretch after late president Bingu Wa Mutharika.
Yesterday morning, Kyungu chased outspoken youth activist, Steven Simsokwe, out of a cultural heritage meeting accusing him of undermining his authority.
Said Kyungu at the gathering: “We are not proceeding with the meeting until Simsokwe goes out. Should some of you want him in, then I will ask all my chiefs from Chitipa to Karonga to go out. ”
The Ngonde’s supreme leader then told the meeting that Simsokwe’s outright revolt against him and government are an insult to his office which he cannot tolerate.
In an interview yesterday, Simsokwe confirmed the incident and said he will not be silenced by Kyungu’s dictatorial stunts.
The youth activist maintained that he speaks for the marginalised Malawians of the two districts who he alleges Kyungu has betrayed in recent years.
“I walked out because of the respect that I have for the other chiefs. But Paramount Kyungu has failed his subjects from every front. All he cares about is mending fences with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration,” Simsokwe alleged.
In September this year, Simsokwe led a group of concerned citizens in a peaceful protest against Kyungu and his juniors for conspiring with government to name the road Bingu Highway without consulting the locals.
He has on a number of occasions also taken to the public accusing the Ngonde’s royalty of failing to represent his subjects on issues that directly affect them.
Simsokwe observes that Kyungu’s latest silent stance on matters of national interest raises a lot of questions and should be a cause for worry among Malawians.
“Our Chief has remained mute on a number of emerging issues, on the pending oil exploration on Lake Malawi, the bad mining deals and governance in general. It is only we, the subjects, who are speaking on behalf of the people and we tend to wonder whose interests our chief is serving lately,” Simsokwe queried.
Kyungu and his official spokesperson, Alexander Mboma, did not pick our several calls to give their side of the story.
But Senior Chief Kameme of Chitipa who was present at the Monday meeting also confirmed the incident but refused to be drawn to comment.
He, however, conceded that chiefs did not consult their people on the Bingu Highway, thus contradicting Kyungu’s September remarks where he said people from the two districts were agreeable to the move.
“I would be lying if I tell you that we consulted our people. We thought it was a little way of giving gratitude to the DPP government. Matter of natural wisdom,” Kameme said.
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