By Wezi Mwangonde
Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has officially handed over 22 houses to victims of violence caused by witchcraft accusations and chieftaincy succession wrangles at a function which took place at Ngerenge in Karonga District.
Speaking during the official handover ceremony, Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka challenged traditional leaders to stop fueling violence in their areas by promoting fairness when settling disputes. The Bishop expressed concern that some conflicts are caused by traditional leaders due to lack of justice when settling disputes.
“The truth is that most of the times violence is caused by traditional leaders because of unfairness in dealing with chieftainship succession, land demarcation and allocation of development projects. Our plea to traditional leaders is to always exercise justice when handling these issues to maintain peace,” said Bishop Mtumbuka.
In his remarks, T/A Kilupula appreciated the peacebuilding efforts of the Diocese of Karonga. He also expressed a word of gratitude for the support the Diocese renders to the people in the area.
He added that traditional leaders have a responsibility to build peace in their areas through closer collaboration with their community members.
“Yes we have a responsibility to bring peace in our communities but there are some individuals who fuel violence but they do not understand the causes very well for example witchcraft accusations which traditional have always spoken against,” explained Kilupula.
With financial support from the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart in Germany, the Caritas Commission of the Diocese of Karonga implemented the “Transforming Conflict and Resettle Internally Displaced People” project. Under the objective of resettling internally displaced people, the Diocese has constructed 8 houses in Chakwera Village, 3 houses in Ngerenge, 1 house in Lupembe, 5 houses at Majaliro, 3 houses at Fulirwa, 1 house in Mwanjabala Village and 1 in Kafikisira Village.
The project has distributed food and other basic household items to 540 victimised and vulnerable households; 210 in Mpata (Mwankenja Mwangonde, Mwawembe Kalambo and Mwentete villages) and 330 in Chakwera Village. The project also engaged 2,500 people in conflict transformation process in the district in the areas of Paramount Chief Kyungu and T/A Kilupula.