(There is noise in the
Court clerk: Order! Order! This is not a village or town gathering. It is an honourable court of law. Silence! All stand as his Lordship justice Mbadwa walks in to take his seat. (The court falls into a deep silence)
Justice Mbadwa: (Coughs and adjusts his spectacles) May the representative of the Chiefs Council, the complainants, in this matter, stand and present their case.
Traditional Authority Ngalawalira: I am standing on behalf of the current leader of Chiefs Council, who is curently recording programmes praising the wise and dynamic leadership of Mapuya.
My Lord, what happened recently at a function organised by the Nyasaland Aiding Corruption Bureau (NACB) in the area of Native Authority Sitilora cannot go unchallenged. It is something that has dented the image of our Chiefs Council because Sitilora is now being hero-worshipped for bluntly shredding the bureau for its dud fight against corruption.
The rest of us chief, who toe government’s line are being insulted and ridiculed at will by the citizens who claim that we are sell-outs. Who have we sold?
My Lord, you know that we serve government of the day and any comment that paints a negative picture of the current administration or any institution whose director was hired by Mapuya ought to be avoided at all costs.
By stating that NACB has failed, we members of the Chiefs Councils felt that Sitilora went overboard as he was giving an indictment on Mapuya himself that he has miserably failed to tame corruption, something that chiefs like us cannot fathom to do.
My Lord, you know it is clichéd that you cannot bite the finger that feeds you. Sitilora has embarrassed members of the Chiefs’ Council because we cannot dare attack government of the day, especially now that they have increased our honoraria by 100 percent.
My Lord, Sitilora should have known that we are only allowed to castigate the opposition for every mistake we note in this country. In this case, it would have made a lot of sense to blame the opposition and civil society organisations for the increase in cases of corruption. The better refrain should have been “the opposition leaders such as Lazaro and Sauli Cloud are busy conniving with civil society organisations to embarrass the President instead of helping fight corruption. In fact they are the reasons corruption has soared in the country.”
My Lord, we want this court to rule that Sitilora will not be a beneficiary of the new honoraria rates that government announced because he was behaving like a firebrand opposition leader.
Some of us are very senior but we have lost the respect of the citizens most of whom are heckling us every time we want to speak on an issue at rallies or during local meetings with our people, saying Sitilora is the real chief and that the rest of us are ruling party operatives. We cannot allow that to continue My Lord. Why does he like to tell the truth as if he is some evangelist? We need our respect back.
Mbadwa: The honoraria that Sitilora gets is an entitlement as a Native Authority and is not dependent on how hoarse somebody goes in hero-worshipping government of the day. And the money chiefs receives comes from taxpayers and not from Mapuya. A chief worth his name should stand for the truth and fight for the well-being of his or her people. Case dismissed.n