Paramount Chief Lundu of Chikwawa last week turned Sanjika Palace into an ampitheatre when he publicly told President Chakwera that although majority of the traditional leaders are old and frail, they have girlfriends and; hence, they need tinted vehicles in which to hide their slay queens.
On October 26, 2020, Chakwera held an audience with traditional leaders from the Southern Region during which he is reported to have appealed for their support for his Tonse government. But the outspoken chief took advantage of the platform to lay bare his grievances, including those of his love life.
“Talking of support you are assured of our support on the following conditions: Deliver your campaign promises and uplift the welfare of the chiefs. We appreciate the health schemes such as the promised MASM, but even some of us look old we have girlfriends we therefore need cars with tinted glasses to also enjoy life just like anybody else,” he said. Senior Chief Chikumbu of Mulanje seconded the need for the President to buy them cars.
Lundu further informed Chakwera about the looming hunger in many parts of the region, especially in the Shire Valley. On the Agriculture Input Programme (AIP), the traditional leaders brought to the attention of the President that majority of the farming families were left out.
Chakwera is reported to have shocked the chiefs when he rejected their request for personal vehicles bought by the government or the President himself. He told them in the face that the government of the President does not have any business to buy them cars.
The President further reminded Chikumbu in the face that “mesa inu Kondwani Nakhumwa anakugulirani galimoto? Ndiye mkufuna ina? (I thought Kondwani Nakhumwa bought you a car? Do you want another one?)”
On AIP, Chakwera said there is no way the government could give the chiefs preferential treatment in the implementation of the programme.
Ironically, the President appealed to the chief to help in the establishment of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) structures in their areas so that it should have a large following in the region.
“We were surprised that we were told it was going to be an official business, but were shocked to see MCP Vice President Sidik Mia instead of the State Vice President Dr. Saulosi Chilima. Worse still, Mia was too bossy to an extent of rudely telling T/A Ngabu to stand claiming that he is the one who has reinstated him,” said one of the chiefs who attended the meeting, but opted for anonymity.
According to the source, Mia challenged the chiefs to take their cases to him personally to address them. It is reported that the chiefs spent the whole day surviving on a small glass of juice from 8 am to 4pm without even a snack. This prompted Lundu to speak in a parable.
“Bwana mwatiyitana ndinu tibwere pano. Choncho chomwe mutadye inu, nafenso tidya chomwecho (We are here at your invitation. So, if we are to eat, we will eat together with you, if you won’t eat we will also go hungry,” he said.
At the end of the meeting, Chakwera is reported to have splashed K200, 000 each to Paramount Chiefs, K150, 000 each for Senior Chiefs, T/As got K100, 000 each while Sub Traditional Authorities (ST/As) pocketed K50, 000 each.
“This did not please T/As and ST/As who were in majority. They went home angry since in the past during such meetings, they used to get equal amounts. As you know hungry people are always angry,” said our source.