The ministry of local government has warned against the growing tendency of chiefs creating new villages within their jurisdiction, saying it is choking the monthly allowance payment system for traditional leaders.
Director of chiefs in the ministry of local government Lawrence Makonokaya said in response to complaints of delayed allowances as raised during a meeting with traditional leaders in Ntcheu and Balaka districts.
Chiefs complained that some of them have gone for about six months without pocketing the monthly allowance.
According to the chiefs Act, an eligible village head should have a minimum of 30 households, while an eligible group village head should have atleast 10 villages.
Makonokaya said:- ” This is not the trend as of late there has been a growing tendency of new village creation.”These new creations are fuelling chieftaincy wrangles and making it hard on part of government to pay the monthly allowances accordingly.”
He sternly warned to deal with such traditional leaders accordingly, and emphasised that some who are not meeting the recommended criteria, will be demoted or rather fired.
The ministry and district councils are reportedly struggling to resolve such issues as some claim to miss out on the payroll, while some struggle for power.
“As one other solution, government plan to start paying some chiefs through mobile banking like Airtel money and TNM Mpamba, in a bid to relieve district councils that sometimes fail to pay the traditional leaders in time due to financial handicap,” disclosed Makonokaya.
The tendency of creating new illegal villages is reportedly rampant in Dedza, Ntcheu, Balaka, Phalombe and Mulanje among other districts.
There are currently over 45 thousand traditional leaders in Malawi who receive between two thousand five hundred kwacha and 50 thousand kwacha per month, from village head to paramount chiefs.
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