Malawi’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has stepped up its gear for terror campaign against political competitors, especially the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) as on Saturday it unleashed violence in Rumphi against opposition leaders who were going to attend Gonapamuhanya Cultural Festival of the Tumbuka ethnic group in Rumphi and Lundazi, Zambia.
Leader of the opposition in Palrliament and MCP president Lazarous Chakwera forced out of his car as the DPP notorious Cadets blocked his motorcade to the venue of the ceremony, Bolero Ground in Rumphi.
Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe was irked with the incident and had to demand that he go personally to welcome Chakwera.
DPP cadres also pelted stones at the car of Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Enock Chihana.
The panga wielding DPP thugs attacked opposition sympathisers leaving several with life threatening injuries.
Chakwera blasted DPP’s “culture of disturbing opposition ”, adding violence would not win them votes in 2019 elections.
“Everywhere we are going the story is the same: that DPP is intimidating people. It is unacceptable.,” said Chakwera.
The thugs were said to have been organised by Jappie Mhango, the Minister of Transport and DPP campaign director.
But when contacted, Mhango said the thugs were not DPP members.
Despite the DPP violence, the ceremony proceeded with dance, recounting of history and beer drinking as the Tumbuka ethnic group celebrated their cultural heritage.
The Tumbuka settled in Malawi in the 15th Century after migrating from Timbktu in Mali. They were Swahili speaking business people, selling jewels, hoes and soap.
The name Chikulamayembe is a corruption of the Swahili words ‘chukuwa jembe’ (take a hoe).
Gonapamuhanya was the first Chikulamayembe to settle at Bolero where the Chikulamayembe chieftaincy is today.
The present Chikulamayembe, Walter Gondwe, took over the throne in 1969 in acting capacity after Chikulamayembe the 11th (John Hardy Gondwe also known as Ziwange) was sick.
In 1977, Walter was crowned Chikulamayembe the 12th. In 2002, Chikulamayembe was elevated to senior chief. And in 2007, he was made Paramount Chief.
In 2012, his son Mtima Gondwe was unveiled as acting Chikulamayembe at a similar event.
Gonapamuhanya is commemorated every year .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :