Malawi President Joyce Banda on Sunday warned that traditional leaders found causing disorder and harbouring illegal immigrants will be arrested and stripped of their chieftaincy.
Banda made the warning during a brief development rally she addressed at Msoma Primary School ground at Chipoka in Salima South Constituency.
Said the President: â€œEven the Holy Koran says we should love each other, give each other and leave in peace. If we see that chiefs are the ones responsible for any disorder in this country, we will arrest [them]. We hear that some chiefs are harbouring and even cooking food for [illegal] immigrants. That is being cruel to Malawians.â€
Banda called on the clergy in the country to pray for continued peace in the country, saying the responsibility of protecting the country is in all Malawians.
Bandaâ€”who arrived at the venue at around 4.20pm after travelling by road from Mzimba and making stopovers in Nkhata Bay where, among others, she met the family of the late veteran politician Aleke Bandaâ€”also ordered that group and village headmen and women will no longer be paid through commercial banks as was the case following a government policy to make all payments through the banks.
The Presidentâ€™s directive follows concerns from some traditional leaders that they were facing problems in accessing their monthly stipend as most of them live far away from banks.
The President said she was mainly touched with group village heads and village leaders whose monthly pay she said is so small that because of the bank arrangement almost all the money is finished on transport to the nearest banking facility.
She said for her Peopleâ€™s Party (PP), this is not the time for politicking but concentrating on development.
Banda promised a hard time for her detractors when time for the 2014 elections campaign comes.