In a move many have described as retrogressive, the Chewa Heritage Foundation (CHEFO) on Friday courted controversy when announced it will compile an inventory of all skilled and professional Chewa people with various academic and vocational qualifications to push for “Chewalisation” of the public service and public appointments.
According to a statement signed by CHEFO secretary general Dr Numeri Geresomo, the move is aimed at strengthening CHEFO and serve the Chewa nation better.
But critics accused President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration of favouring his Chewa tribe, a move which the CHEFO wants to accelerate.
“We therefore appeal to the general public to assist in identifying such people and forward their curriculum vitae or particulars such as sex, name, highest qualification, experience and any other information that one may consider necessary to share,” reads the CHEFO statement.
But after the move received backlash on social media, the Chewa heritage made a tactical withdraw of the statement.
Private practice lawyer Bright Theu condemned the move by the Chewa heritage in his post on Facebook.
Theu wrote: “The primitivity and backwardness is too deep rooted. Not even formal education up to the highest level can redeem those who are wired with this vice. Things are tolerable in this country thanks to the effort of much fewer individuals. The majority have this primitive socialisation to self identify by tribe and that’s what matters the most to them.
“And we have wasted valuable time as a country fighting hordes of tribal ingrates trying to attain hegemony by seizing political power and using the state machinery to further their disgusting proclivities for tribal dominance. Retrogrades. Somehow they find their way to state power!”
Critics query that as it was during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime when all key positions in government were being held by people from the Lhomwe Belt—where former president Peter Mutharika also comes from. The trend, is becoming the same for ‘Chewalisation’ under Chakwera government diluting the whole essence of national meritocracy— doing things on merit.