Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Halima Daud, on Tuesday installed Bizwasi Pondeponde as the sixth Traditional Authority (T/A) Somba in Blantyre.
The installation comes two years after the death of the fifth chief, a development Daud described as yet another milestone that will see the area being positively transformed through the new ruler.
Daud, therefore, urged the new T/A to unite his subjects by ensuring that peace and tranquility prevails besides being a servant leader who will also mobilise communities to participate in development as that is the only way the area can develop.
"Due to absence of a leader, development was at a standstill in the area and people did not have anywhere to present their grievances. It is, therefore, my hope that the new T/A will ensure that peace prevails at all times so that people put aside all their differences and work towards a common goal," said Daud.
Speaking on behalf of the Somba family, Alfred Chapulapula said: "We had no leader since the death of our grandfather two years ago to represent us in important meetings where developmental issues were being discussed; hence, our area was lagging behind. But now we hope for a brighter future as we have a new leader who will lead us to a proper direction."
In his remarks Presidential Advisor on Chiefs, Moses Kunkuyu, urged chiefs to be in the forefront in the fight against sexual abuse as government alone cannot manage; hence, need for collective efforts to curb the malpractice.
"Of late, the country has recorded rising numbers in sexual abuse cases and can't just sit down and watch the girl child's future being ruined like that. As chiefs, you need stand up and deal with the perpetrators because these people live in your villages," Kunkuyu said.
Kunkuyu, therefore, warned that government would revoke chieftaincy from any leader who will be caught abusing the girl child as a way of creating a good environment for the vulnerable.
The Somba clan came to Malawi from Mozambique in 1830 and has been in the country for 190 years now.