Nkhotakota chiefs boycott council meeting


There was drama during a Nkhotakota full council meeting on Wednesday when Traditional Authorities (T/As) walked out of the meeting in protest over the decision to send out of the meeting the council’s Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for alleged abuse of office.

Nkhotakota North councillor Charles Kamija on behalf of his fellow councillors queried presence of the DPD, Griffin Mhango, in the meeting when he was supposed to have stopped working and awaiting to be transferred following resolutions made in the previous extraordinary full council meeting.

Following the question, chairperson of the council, Manfred Kwanjiwa, ordered that Mhango’s fate be decided by vote and in the end Mhango was voted out.


The development did not go down well with the T/As Mwansambo, Mwadzama, Kafuzira, Mphonde and Malengachanzi who all boycotted the meeting soon after Mhango was shown the exit door.

But the chiefs’ action disappointed some of the Members of Parliament and councillors who asked if it was proper to be discussing development issues in the absence of the chiefs who play an important role in implementing projects.

But the gathering agreed to proceed with the discussions.


In an interview, T/A Mwansambo said they boycotted the meeting because Mhango’s issue was not on the agenda.

“We went there to discuss development issues only to find that they had brought in a strange topic which disappointed us, hence the decision to walk out of the meeting,” he said.

Earlier this year, all the councillors in the district petitioned the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to transfer Mhango and District Lands Officer, Lester Nyambosi, after accusing the two of among other things selling council properties such as land without proper procedures. The DPD was also accused of misusing public funds.

The ministry’s Principal Secretary, Chris Kang’ombe, two months ago addressed the matter by promising to transfer the two after 30 days and the councilors warned that if nothing was done after the said period, they would seal the officials’ offices.

But the ministry is yet to transfer the two, a thing that has infuriated the councillors.

During the meeting, it was agreed that Mhango should stop reporting for duties and that his office keys be surrendered to the full council.

But it was learnt later that Mhango obtained a court injunction restraining the PS from removing him from his position.

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