The High Court in Lilongwe recently ordered that former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika and the Malawi Government erred in the 2008 installment of Senior Chief Dzoole in Lilongwe and has subsequently dethroned the current occupant of the chieftaincy.
Judge Fiona Mwale ordered that the presidency should adhere to the Chiefs’ Act and ruled that the chieftaincy should revert to Group Village Headman (GVH) Sambani who had sought legal redress following the installation of the chief in 2010.
Mwale observed that government failed to challenge the complaint, but the affidavit by the plaintiff contends that the Dzoole chieftaincy is governed by the Chewa customary rules of succession.
“The President shall adhere to the provision of Section 4 (2) (a) of the Chief’s Act in the appointment of a successor to the Dzoole chieftaincy.
“Further, the first defendant has no authority to usurp the customary law of the Chewa people by acting as if he was authorized by the Plaintiff to approve the nomination of the 4th defendant as successor to the late Dzoole,” ruled Mwale.
Controversy erupted in 2008 following the death of the former Dzoole and the subsequent appointment of Alfred Chidyaudzu as acting chief which forced Sambani to obtain a court injunction.
GVH Sambani claimed that, as per Chewa custom, he was responsible for the appointment of the next chief, but alleged that Chidyaudzu’s camp had forged his signature to present a case for his installation by the district commissioner (DC).