Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chakuamba guilty for attacks on Lhomwes

The Lhomwe's top most traditional chief, Paramount Chief Mkhumba whose people Chakuamba ordered to be wiped out from Malawi. Pic by Malawi Digest.

By Chifundo Gama

New Republican Party (NRP) has been found guilty by a court in Malawi for inciting acts of violence against the Lhomwe tribe in the country.

The Nkhotakota Magistrate Court sitting in central Malawi found the veteran politician guilty for proposing hatred towards tribal groups, the Mulhako Wa Alhomwe in particular.

Despite being found guilty in the case, First Grade Magistrate Fred Chilowetsa spared the 78-year old politician from conviction due to his old age.

In his ruling in the jam-packed court, Magistrate Chilowetsa said the state proved beyond reasonable doubt that Chakuamba uttered the said words.

During the hearing for the case, the court heard that on November 23 last year at Dwangwa in Nkhotakota, Gwanda Chakuamba uttered words at a political rally inciting people to beat up Lhomwe people because they were pompous and arrogant.

As part of evidence, the court was also shown newspaper cuttings for articles indicating that Chakuamba had a negative attitude towards the Lhomwe grouping, the Mulhako Wa Alhomwe.

Following these arguments in court, the Nkhotakota Magistrate had no option but found the politician guilty in the charges brought before the court.

He however spared him a conviction that would have seen Chakuamba serving a jail term.

Magistrate Chilowetsa however issued a stern warning to Chakuamba and all Malawians that the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi provides for freedom of cultural identity and association.

“Mulhako Wa Alhomwe members were only exercising their constitutional rights by establishing the grouping,” he said.

He further warned Chakumba and others to stop the tendency of attacking other tribes.

“The accused and others should stop this kind of behaviour and bear in mind that without culture, you can lose your integrity, identity and dignity,” said the Magistrate.

Speaking to journalists outside the court after the ruling, Chakuamba said he was happy with the ruling and thanked all people who stood by him throughout the case.

Gwanda Chakuamba, the NRP leader uttered words ordering the beating up of all Lhomwes in Malawi in November last year.

He was during that particular time in a political marriage of inconvenience with the opposition UDF leader, Bakili Muluzi.

However, after realising that the UDF was a sinking ship and that Muluzi was no cheating Malawians that he was eligible to stand for a third term, Chakumba dumped him and the UDF.

In a Weekend Nation exclusive interview last year following the establishment of Mulhako Wa Alhomwe in October, former President Bakili Muluzi said that he hated the organisation and that he was not happy that Senior Chief Mkhumba had been elevated by Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika to the position Paramount Chief for all Lhomwes in Malawi.

Muluzi said he preferred Traditional Authority Mabuka should have been made Paramount Chief instead.

Interestingly, during his 10 year rule in power, Muluzi never elevated Mabuka to the said position-Malawi Digest.

1 comment:

  1. Mbuya mwapulumuka chifukwa chokalamba but tomorrow it willnot be like that,you will be arrested.Just go kumudzi and be a foreman for Nsanje port tazisiyeni zandalezi anthu akupatseni ulemu.Mpaka akhoti kuona kutio mwakalamba?Mukanachitapo kanthu.Mphechepeche mwa Njobvu sapitamo kawiri.