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Government moves to address chieftaincy challenges

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The Ministry of Local Government is developing the Chiefs’ Policy to resolve challenges surrounding chieftaincy in the country.

Local Government Ministry Director of Chiefs Administration, Charles Makanga, rated the development as timely, saying there is no Chiefs’ Policy at the moment.

He said this on Monday, during a two-day consultation meeting on Chiefs’ Policy guidelines held in Blantyre.

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“All along, we did not have a Chiefs’ Policy. We only have the Chiefs’ Act but, because of problems we have been experiencing with chiefs, notably chieftaincy wrangles, the government has, through the ministry, thought it wise to amend the Chiefs’ Act. The ministry has finalised developing the policy and is just waiting for approval,” Makanga said.

Makanga said the policy has identified six thematic areas which would help strengthen its operational framework.

“Some of the major highlights in the policy include how we are supposed to create villages, traditional structures; how to fill a vacancy in the chieftaincy because we need to have a systematic way of doing that, the criteria to follow when elevating chiefs, the issue of responsibilities of our chiefs. The other issue is incorporating the Gender Act and policy in the management of chiefs,” he said.

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Paramount Chief Kawinga from Machinga District said there are a lot of issues that need to be looked into before operationalising the policy to resolve prevalent challenges once and for all.

“We want to change the elevation process and determine who is supposed to elevate chiefs, how much a chief is supposed to get per month, as you might be aware that the current token is too little, considering that things are pricey, among other things,” he said.

The event was funded by United Nations Development Programme and UN Women under pillar two on institutions strengthening gender-based violence response and prevention.

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