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The Chiefs Directorate functions were originally under the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) and this also included appointment of the DCs. In passing of time, the OPC offloaded both the Chiefs and DCs’ functions to the MLGRD.

The role of traditional leaders in accelerating rural development need to be underscored. The GoM has therefore continued to improve the welfare of traditional authorities (TAs) across the country. 

Game Changer activities:

  • Facilitate opening of bank accounts for all chiefs especially the lower cadres i.e. Village headmen (VH) and Group Village Headmen (GVHs).
  • Develop cultural group forecast succession plan for every chieftaincy and made available to the District Commissioner
  • Accelerate the repeal of Chiefs Act
  • Medical Aid scheme for chiefs
  • Coordination of induction course for newly installed chief


  • Almost all District Councils have opened Bank Accounts for all Chiefs. However, there are some few chiefs in some districts who have their bank accounts wrongly captured in the payroll and these are still receiving their honoraria through pay parade conducted by District Councils. The Councils and DHRMD are in the process of correcting the wrongly captured Bank Accounts.
  • 22 District Councils out of 28 District Councils have compiled Family Trees from Royal Families. The other Councils are in the process of compiling the Family Trees. The delay is due to the unwilling of other Royal Families to submit the family tree due to the misunderstanding within the Royal families.
  • The Ministry is waiting for OPC to set dates for the Legal Technical Committee of Cabinet to vet the draft Bill for the New Chiefs Act. The Ministry is also in the process of drafting the Chiefs Policy. We have secured technical and financial support from the UN Agencies to assist the Ministry to come up with the Policy.
  • The ministry has budgeted for the introduction of Medical and Funeral Cover for the Chiefs from the rank of Sub-T/A to Paramount Chief to cover the sickness and death of the chiefs in the 2020/21 Financial Year.
  • Induction of chiefs in their various roles was not done due to resource constraints. However, this is the most important exercise to be done in order to capacitate our chiefs on their role.
  • Installed and elevated over 50 traditional leaders of various levels

Planned Activities

  • Formulate Chiefs Administration Policy, which is supposed to guide management and administration of chiefs in the country;
  • Conduct National Chief Conference issues affecting administration of chiefs in the country;
  • Facilitate installation and elevation of Chiefs as per demand.
  • Sensitization of 2,000 Traditional Leaders on their roles and responsibilities.
  • Intend to develop a comprehensive chiefs’ data base of all chiefs in the country starting from Village Headmen to Paramount Chiefs. The Directorate has data in hard copies from twenty-eight (28) district councils which the ITC experts/gurus will electronically capture to develop the Chiefs data base
  • Facilitate the reviewing and repealing of the Chiefs Act which is outdated and it will also share with senior members of staff recommendations made by the Malawi Law Commission so that members could positively contribute their ideas. The Chiefs Act which in use was enacted during the colonial era and the repealing of it will accommodate current needs and aspirations

Key Challenges Affecting Chief Administration

  • In adequate resources to support some of the planned activities such as to finish the repeal of Chiefs Act and orientations of Chiefs on their new roles.
  • Chieftaincy wrangles in most districts.
  • Some sectors and institutions not appreciating the role and importance of the institution of traditional authorities.
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