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Glued to greed

The clashes that erupted during the coronation of Themba la Mathemba Chikulamayembe in Rumphi on Tuesday are a testament of a society stuck with greed and not willing to let laid down rules rule to the letter.

Mdzukulu, every anthropological social group has its own norms regarding who rises to a throne after their supreme ruler has died or is incapacitated.

That is why it should be obvious within the royal family and other concerned stakeholders who the heir-apparent is.

Of course, every chieftaincy has its own unique precepts but the overriding principle regarding successions is that you do not sit down and have to debate or make mathematical or philosophical calculations on who should be the next chief.

Chief taincies ar e supposed to be predictable formations. But what happened in Rumphi clearly tells us that some individuals have their own understandings of what should otherwise be clear procedures.

Mdzukulu, I am also mindful of the fact that there are other chieftaincies whose wrangles have not been resolved up to date because some misguided people thought of circumventing clear procedures.

For their own greed, they are willing to do everything possible to flout their own laws.

That is why we have had chieftaincy cases going to courts after the responsible families have failed to agree on who should be their next traditional ruler.

Yet, the whole thing is simply about someone deliberately attempting to bend age-old traditions because they are engrossed in massaging their interests.

But at least the courts have repeatedly refused to be the arbitrators in chieftaincy wrangles where involved families can clearly find their own solutions.

Nevertheless, where the families have shown that they are not willing to follow their own procedures—of course, with one side starkly on the wrong side—the courts have come in to tell them what they should already know.

Mdzukulu, still one thing becomes clear: the moment a court has been involved in solving the wrangles, even after a verdict that has been welcomed by everyone comes into effect, it is difficult for ultimate peace to reign among the warring factions.

That is why no one else other than the responsible families themselves should determine who should be their next leader.

The Chikulamayembe chieftaincy is one of the most respected because of what some people believe is its aversion to meddling in politics.

The previous Themba la Mathemba was one respected traditional leader because he could openly tell politicians off, warning them against hijacking operations of chieftaincies.

But what happened during the coronation of Mtima Gondwe as Themba la Mathemba Chikulamayembe 13 has watered down the chieftaincy, bringing it into great disrepute.

While I don’t want to side with anyone now, because it appears the matter is not over yet, I am tempted to believe that someone is simply refusing to accept laid down procedures for their own benefits.

That is why as Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Phiri, was presiding over the coronation of Mtima Gondwe as the new Tumbuka king, another group was causing havoc around the king’s headquarters where they also torched offices.

Mdzukulu, everything that happened is because someone is so much glued to greed that they will do everything to try and get what does not belong to them.

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