Paramount Chiefs, Senior Chiefs and Traditional Authorities of the Northern Region have pressed President Peter Mutharika to apologise to Nkhamanga Kingdom in Rumphi following the fracas on September 30 when members of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wreaked havoc at the Gonapamuhanya ceremony.
Mutharika, who is visiting the northern region, had invited the Rumphi chiefs at the Mzuzu State Lodge dangling a K200 000 to each of them.
But the chiefs rejected to meet Mutharika until the President apologizes.
During the Gonapamuhanya ceremony, DPP youth cadets clad in their party attire, threw stones at opposition party leaders that attended the cultural ceremony at Bolero in Rumphi including Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president and leader of opposition in parliament, Lazaros Chakwera.
Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe through his chief advisor and spokesperson chief principal group village head Kawazamawe, demanded an apology from President Mutharika for his party’s undemocratic conduct.
“As Tumbukas, we are very disappointed with what happened. We were expecting to celebrate [our] culture, but we were insulted by the fracas. We discovered that there were some other party [DPP] officials who were influencing the boys to cause problems,” he said.
But State House press secretary Mgeme Kalilani said calls for the Head of State to apologise is misguided ashe had nothing to do with the fracas.
Kalilani said the fracas was “between politicians of different parties who were trying to outshine each other at a cultural festival. Presumably, these politicians were invited by the organisers of the event themselves.”
He wondered how the President comes into this fracas for him to apologise, further stating that the issue is between organisers of the event, politicians and the police.
Cabinet Minister Grace Chiumia already apologised during the event on behald of DPP and government.
But the Tumbuka chiefs want President to either go in person at Chikulamayembe headquarters to say sorry formally or send a delegation as per tradition.
“He [Mutharika] leads all of us, and what happened on that day is something which has disappointed the Tumbuka people in the country, Zambia and other regions,” said Kawazamawe.
Chairperson of the Gonapamuhanya organising committee ceremony, chief principal group village head Chikalamba Gondwe stressed that the ruling DPP cadets were responsible for the violence .
The chiefs wondererd why other cultural events are cerebrated peacefully and only Tumbuka event was battle ground for DPP to fight opposition.
During the cultural event, the Tumbuka people commemorate the first Chikulamayembe named Gonapamuhanya because of his tendency to bask in the sun after eating.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :