Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu on Tuesday appealed for calm when he addressed scores of disgruntled villagers currently holding a vigil at Salima district council offices against Senior Chief Kuulunda.
The protesting villagers are demanding immediate ouster of Biti Adija Chapola from the position of Senior Chief Kuulunda over allegations that she is corrupt, dictatorial and nepotistic.
Tembenu who was in company of Minister of Lands Atupele Muluzi told the demonstrators that powers to remove chiefs from their position rests with the State President. He, therefore, promised to take the matter to President Professor Peter Mutharika for intervention.
“According to the constitution of the country only the President has power to revoke a chief and as it stands after our discussions with the representatives of the two sides we will write a report to the president on your demands,” he said.
In his statement, Muluzi urged the demonstrators to keep peace and observe the laws of the country.
“I know you people as people of peace and it is my plea that you continue to be peaceful and wait for the matter to be acted upon according to the laws and procedure,” said Muluzi.
Meanwhile as the Ministers left the council premises the demonstrators stood firm on their demand that they will never leave the premises until Government stops Chapola from holding the Kuluunda chieftaincy.
One of the organizers of the vigil Michel Chingomanje said that as organizers they are just following the people’s wishes and the vigil will continue as long as the people so wish.
“We are holding the vigil after noting that our demands in the petition to the President which we delivered through the office of the district commissioner three months ago is not being addressed even after we warned about this action,” said Chingomanje.
The petitioners are claiming that the current chief is not fit to lead them as she is fond of abusing her power by among others confiscating land from her subjects.mana