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Village Head’s election case remarks anger chiefs’ council

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M’mbelwa Chiefs Council has distanced itself from sentiments made by one of its subjects, Inkosana Mtenje Ntchawaka Jele, during a press briefing held at Crown Hotel in Lilongwe on Sunday.

The Inkosana was one of several traditional leaders who addressed the briefing to voice out their agreement with a court case calling for nullification of parliamentary and local government elections.

This follows a move by a group calling itself concerned citizens which is asking the High Court to order that parliamentary and local government polls should also be held together with the fresh presidential election scheduled for July 2.

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In a press statement titled ‘Clarification on the conduct of Inkosana Ntchawaka Jele’, the council described the Inkosana’s approach as misleading.

“We wish to put records straight. His Majesty Inkosi Ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V as Chairperson of the Council did not assign any other member of the Chiefs Council to delegate anyone to represent us at the said meeting.

“Also, if we were to attend the said meeting, we would not have been represented by a Village Headman,” reads the statement signed by the council’s secretary Inkosi Mpherembe.

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It adds that Mzimba chiefs take a non-partisan stance on politics.

“Further, it is not in our norms to comment on issues that are in courts. As M’mbelwa Chiefs Council, we wish to indicate that we shall be summoning the Village Headman who featured at the said meeting for him to explain how he found himself taking part in the said event,” the statement concludes.

But Jele said he got the mandate from Inkosi Mabilabo who he reports to.

“I am too junior to report to Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa. It is my chief Mabilabo who can do that for me. I was speaking for people of my area and I got clearance from Inkosi Mabilabo,” he said.

Mabilabo said whatever the Inkosana said at the briefing did not represent the council.

“I only got a phone call asking for me to send representatives to a meeting of senior group village headmen. I never knew about the agenda. If I knew about the agenda, I was not going to allow them to go,” Mabilabo said.

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