The Process was in compliance with a Court order that nullified the elevation of Mtima Gondwe to Paramount Chief Chikulayambe citing some irregularities in his appointment and ordered the Royal Family to nominate new names for crown.
Soon after the meeting, Group Village Headman (GVH) Chikalamba who presided of the election told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that an heir to the Chikulamayembe throne has been chosen according to the court order.
“We have indeed elected an heir to throne, but we have agreed not to disclose the name of the chosen one until official communication is made by the District Commissioner or the presidency,” he said.
Lawyer for the Bongololo family, Michael Goba Chipeta who came as an observer told Mana that indeed an heir had been chosen.
“The meeting was in compliance with what came from the local government. You know there was a court case prior to that so the local government wrote that the royal family should sit down and choose an heir to the throne between the contesting parties.
“Members of the Royal family met. In that letter from the family they requested us lawyers to come as observers that’s why in had to travel all the way from Blantyre to attend the meeting. I attended as an observer.
“One thing I can confirm is that an heir has been chosen, but it was resolved that a name should not be disclosed for purposes of peace until perhaps the president himself or the District Commissioner (DC) chooses to disclose. There will be no celebration until the president communicates when he is going to install the chosen heir,” he said.
Chipeta said that as a neutral observer the process perfectly complied with the court judgment because only pure members of the Royal Family were represented quoting the representatives themselves.
But the election was not without controversy; the process started with GVH Khalapamhanya as Chairperson, but was later relieved of his chairmanship, but could not disclose the reasons.
Another member of the Royal family, GVH Mjuma Gondwe was thrown out of the meeting because his uncle was already represented in the meeting.
DC for Rumphi, Fredric Movete confirmed that an heir has been chosen and a name submitted to his office, but could not disclose the name of the heir.
The High Court in Mzuzu voided the elevation of Mtima Gondwe to Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe in April, 2021.