I have always wondered, honestly so, about the role of chiefs in our society. In the whole spectrum of chieftaincy, there have existed elements of self-centeredness, manipulation, dishonesty and immoral acts among those viewed as traditional leaders.
“Trust the chiefs at your own peril” is the tag line for the modern mind.
In 2008, I enjoyed watching the people of Nepal getting rid of their monarch which had ruled them for more than 250 years.
For a decade, King Gyanendra ruled with an iron fist and continued the brainwashing of the masses, making them believe that within society, there is a family which is privileged by “divine powers” to rule over others at all times.
The case is similar right here at home and this kind of systematic manipulation has led to cases whereby one reasonable king/chief will be succeeded by a total feeble-minded who messes society with unwise conduct and decisions.
My heart bled when I saw a host of Malawians senior chiefs attending a meeting called by President Joyce Banda.
Without shame, our traditional leaders wore brave faces and smiled- cosmetically- at Mrs. Banda, who they had been victimizing verbally during Bingu’s era.
These are the same people who attacked us when we demonstrated on July 20, 2011. We were labeled as pro-gay protesters in a move to blind the masses about our real intentions.
Who can easily forget how chiefs bulldozed the introduction of the new flag. Day and night, these people made sickening noise on the state broadcaster, telling the nation that “their” people had agreed to the flag change.
Funny more, they collectively told the nation how they were against the devaluation of the Kwacha. It was evident that most of them never understood the issue under discussion. To them what mattered was that they partook in the State House lunch (which is always an extraordinary banquet by any standards) and got some money to manage their own lives.
Chiefs might have been in existence for decades but I believe that there might be a better option of governing people across the country than having one family which saps the privileges and retain substantial power even though they prove invalid in terms of wisdom, intelligence and conduct.
The “myth” of royal family is against democratic values of any sort. It is one kind of government which suits the needs of the "chosen" few.
The Senate sounds good to me, Chieftaincy doesn’t. They have too many power and they have evidently lost the trust of the people.
Let’s abolish Chieftaincies, if we can.