Malawi: Chieftaincy Court Cases Drain Taxpayers Money, Says Dr. Ben Phiri

Nsanje — Government has reiterated the need for the loyal families to settle their chieftaincy wrangles outside courts saying government has been losing a lot of tax payers money due to hefty legal fees.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Dr. Ben Phiri made the sentiments in Nsanje District when he presided over the installation of Steven Ngabu Jakuma as Traditional Authority Ngabu.

Phiri noted that when issues of chieftaincy are taken to court, government is obliged to defend the case which needs a lot of resources which is taxpayers money and time.

"When chieftaincy issues are taken to court, the Attorney General's office is overwhelmed and government is obliged to defend the case. Government sends legal teams to represent it. Therefore, it spends a lot of resources which could have been used for other important things.

"Therefore, it is high time that the chieftaincy issues should be settled outside the courts. Let me appeal to chiefs and members of the community in the lower shire district to avoid taking issues of chieftainship to courts as such issues ought to be resolved within the royal families," said Dr. Phiri.

He further noted that failure by the royal families to resolve their issues has also had a negative impact on the delivery of development in their respective areas.

The Local Government Minister also urged the new traditional leader and others to work with the current government and try to advance its agendas.

Dr Ben Phiri warned traditional leaders that if they are found receiving bribes, government would not hesitate to act by firing them.

"My message is very clear. Chiefs are supposed to execute their duties without favour or being corrupt. My ministry will not tolerate chiefs who are found doing corrupt practices," said Dr. Ben Phiri.

Speaking at the same function, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Corporation, Francis Kasaila, who is a legislator from Nsanje District, said to the gathering that government will provide total support to people in Nsanje as a reward for providing more votes to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) during the just ended tripartite elections.

Senior Chief Malemia committed unfazed support to the current government and asked all traditional leaders in the country to do the same.

He also urged traditional leaders that they have a crucial role in ensuring that peace and harmony is prevailing in the country.

"As traditional leaders we have an important role to play in making sure that the country enjoys peace. Lets work with the current government for the betterment of our people and respective areas," he said.

Born December 25, 1972, Steven Ngabu Jakuma is the seventh, in the line of Ngabu chieftaincy.

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