PeopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Party official Harry Mkandawire claims Karonga chiefs renamed the Karonga-Chitipa Road Ã¢â‚¬ËœBingu HighwayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ after being influenced by a beach party Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) governor for the North, Frank Mwenifumbo, hosted.
But while confirming that they indeed had a party at MwenifumboÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Lodge, both the DPP governor and Senior Chief Kalonga denied that they were influenced by alcohol to make the decision.
In an interview Thursday, Mkandawire claimed he has information that Mwenifumbo treated the chiefs to a party at his Mikoma Beach, which influenced them to rename the road Bingu Highway.
“The information we have is that the DPP regional governor took the chiefs to his Mikoma Beach where he entertained them. After they had had enough, they made that decision, not that they consulted their subjects,” said Mkandawire.
Karonga Youths for Justice and Development chairperson Steve Simsokwe claimed few chiefs made the decision.
“T/A Kalonga, whose political stand everyone knows, made that decision together with DPP regional governor,” claimed Simsokwe.
He then wondered why the chiefs rushed to rename the road that has not yet been completed.
But Mwenifumbo dismissed suggestions that he was behind the renaming of the road. He said T/A Kalonga invited him to a function the chiefs had. He said later, they went to Chitipa to inspect the road.
“Chiefs and MPs from Chitipa and Karonga met in Karonga where they renamed the Karonga-Chitipa Road Ã¢â‚¬ËœBingu HighwayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢,” said Mwenifumbo.
Commenting on the beach party, Mwenifumbo claimed that after the road was renamed, the chiefs decided to celebrate and they went to Mikoma Beach.
He wondered why there is a fuss about the road being renamed Bingu Highway when there is Bakili Muluzi Highway in Mangochi.
When told that some of his subjects are complaining that they were not consulted, Chief Kalonga wondered whether that would be enough to change the roadÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name.
“If they say they were not consulted, will the road not be called Bingu Highway? That will not happen because we already made the decision,” said Kalonga, adding that those claiming not to have been consulted have no mandate.
He said just as chiefs from Mzimba gave Bingu the title Ngwazi, there was no problem with them naming the road after the President.
Asked to comment on reports that they had a party at MwenifumboÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beach which influenced the decision, Kalonga wondered whether some people wanted chiefs not to eat.
“Did they want people from Chitipa not to eat? Is it because we had good food and we enjoyed?” Queried Kalonga.
The Ngonde Paramount Chief Kyungu was not at the function.