By Nohakelha Phiri:
Sombre mood engulfed Nthembwe Headquarters in Kasungu as people saw the remains of late senior chief Kaluluma walk a last mile.
In multitudes they all flocked to the headquarters to pay homage to the fallen chief who was one of the longest serving in the country.
Late Senior Chief Kaluluma who was 94 years old, passed on early Saturday at Likuni Mission Hospital and according to the family he died of old age as some of his body organs malfunctioned.
With one of the covid-19 preventive protocols broken as over 50 people gathered at Nthembwe Headquarters, the people however never forgot to put on their masks as smell of hand sanitizers filled the place.
Kasungus District Commissioner (DC) James Kanyangalazi could only apologise for breaking one of the covid-19 preventive measures, saying it was difficult to control the people.
The situation could only mean one thing, which is the love the people had for the departed custodian of culture and traditions.
President Lazarus Chakwera is deeply shocked too and had to send deputy minister of local government Halima Daud to represent him.
Daud expressed the Presidents sadness in losing the chief considering the fact that three other chiefs have also passed on in January.
Only this month we have lost three chiefs in late Traditional Authority (TA) Mkula of Machinga, late TA Njolomole of Ntcheu, and late senior chief Bibi Kuulunda of Salima and today we are burying late senior chief Kaluluma which is very saddening, said Daud.
Talking of late senior chief Kaluluma, Daud said he was a very hard working chief and has been reliable because of him being longest serving.
She was quick to caution the family that after mourning the chief, the family should have someone who will take over filling the vacuum left by the late chief.
No need for chieftaincy wrangles and court battles as this makes an area to suffer when it stays for a long time without a chief, said Daud.
Many gave their eulogies and from representative of Kasungu chiefs TA Simlemba, he spoke of family not setting a bad example when choosing a successor.
The late chief was peace loving and when choosing his successor, it has to be without squabbles. It is my hope that it will be done well, said Simlemba.
Member of Parliament for Kasungu North Constituency Mike Bango talked of the late senior chief as one who has usually united people in the area especially politicians.
Bango said the life of the chief should be celebrated.
He was 94 years old and this is something we have to be thankful about because we gained a lot from him. His life has to be celebrated, he said.
Kalonga Gawa Undi sent senior chief Mwase Lundazi to represent him and echoed sentiments on succession.
Chewa customs and traditions are straight forward. Who should succeed him is already defined. Let the family take lead and no one should interfere, said senior chief Mwase.
TA Chilooko of Ntchisi and TA Mwansambo of Nkhotakota joined fellow chiefs in Kasungu saying goodbye to the senior chief.
Installed as chief in 1960, late senior chief Kaluluma, a former agriculture frontline worker, was elevated to TA in 2001 and later became senior chief in 2007.
He is survived by a wife, 13 children, 45 grandchildren and as many great grandchildren.
The senior chief who has served as an advisor to many has departed and never to come back, it is only the wisdom that he imparted in those he has left that will continue to be part of his legacy.