A tug of war continues between some traditional leaders in Rumphi and the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia leadership, as the former has demanded an apology from the Synod’s Moderator Reverend Douglas Chipofya and General Secretary Reverend Dr. Levy Njombole Nyondo over what happened during the burial ceremony of late Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe at Bolero in the district.
Some traditional leaders in the district, namely Chief principal Group Village headman Kabazamawe, Chief Oprincipal Group Village Headman Khalapamhanya, Prinicipal Group Village Headman Kamzing and Principal Group Village Headman Hunga have issued a statemenent, demanding an apology from the Moderator and the Synod’s General Secretary.
But reacting to the development, the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia’s General Secretary Reverend Dr. Nyondo said the Synod will not apologize to anyone.
Bitter political rivalry on Tuesday marred the funeral service of the Paramount Chief at Bolero in the district as it resulted in a clash between the clergy and the traditional leaders, threatening the disrupt the service.
Tension started building after the director of ceremonies Chimbizga Musimuko of taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation-MBC clarified on an intervention by the Reverend Dr. Nyondo who acknowledged the presence of estranged Vice –President Dr. Saulosi Chilima and leader of opposition in Parliament who is also Malawi Congress Party-MCP President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera at the ceremony.
But the Director of the ceremonies responded by asking all speakers to only acknowledge President Peter Mutharika in the salutations.
More tension ensued when the Synod Moderator Reverend Douglas Chipofya announced that Reverend Nyondo, Chakwera and Chilima would speak before the church section of the ceremony.
Chipofya’s announcement stirred panic and Mutharika was seen conferring with an aide before two traditional leaders, including group Village head Kabazamawe moved in to seize the microphone from Chipofya, stating that protocol does not allow anyone to speak after the President.
Born Walter John Hardy Gondwe, Paramount Chief Chikulayambe died on Thursday last week aged 86.
He survived by a wife, five children and 13 grandchildren.
He was buried with military honors that included a three-gun salute.