President Peter Mutharika has dismissed allegations of nepotism over Mulhako wa Alhomwe, a cultural movement that is closely associated with his ruling Democratic Progressive Party, DPP.
Mutharika has been accused of nepotism and trabalsim by critics that he offers lucrative positions in government, from cabinet, diplomatic missions, heads of state organs the people of Mulhako wa Alhomwe.
President Mutharika is patron of the movement.
But speaking at the movement’s fund-raising event at the Bingu conference centre in Lilongwe Friday night which was beamed live on state controlled MBC tv, Mutharika brushed aside the criticism, saying the Muhlakho was aimed at instilling cultural pride and not to dominate others.
“We established our cultural group not to make us pompous but to make us a confident people, whether we live and work there is more wisdom in being humble and confident without looking down upon ourselves” Mutharika said.
He emphasized that it is not the group’s prerogative to portray the Lomwe tribe as being more powerful in the country than fellow Malawians.
“We do not claim and we are not determined to be more important than others, God created us all equal and we are all Malawians but we must be self-assertive and a confident people capable of doing wonders like any other race on earth and this are what I want every tribal grouping in this country to feel like.” Mutharika added.
The President urged various cultural groups in the country to embrace unity and said he would not tolerate anyone in the country to suffer any sort of stigma and discrimination because of culture.
“Culture is there to make us a confident people and its aim is to restore identity,” said Mutharika, and added, “Let’s use culture as a tool for youth development and let’s work hard to develop our country.”
Mutharika further urged Malawians to support all cultural groups in the country as a way of fostering unity among all tribes.
He also appealed to all who had made commitments towards supporting the Mulhako wa Lhomwe to honour their promises so that this year’s event becomes successful.
As part of fundraising, the seats next to the First Lady, Madame Dr Getrude Mutharika, and the Vice President, Dr. Saulos Chilima, were auctioned at initial price of K2 million.
Business gurus, Jean Mathanga (Mrs.) and Leston Mulli emerged the highest bidders with the ceiling prices of K3.5million and K3million and they respectively sat next to the First Lady and the Veep.
On display at the fundraising dinner dance were Lhomwe delicacies the likes of Kalongonda, Makaka, Nandolo, herbs and roots believed to invigorate men’s sexual desire and performance namely, Mthubulo and Gondolosi, and neck/waist bead-strings for women.
This year’s Mulhako wa Lhomwe cultural festival will be held on October 30 at its Headquarters, Chonde Ground, in Thyolo District.
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