Tumbuka’s supreme leader, Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe, has taken a swipe at ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) saying Gonapamuhanya Cultural Festival, just as any cultural festival in the country, does not belong to the incumbency.
He explained that the festival is cultural, not political, as such political forces should grace the festival with a spirit of political diversity, not monopoly.
In an exclusive interview with one of Malawi’s local media added that the festival is Tumbuka’s cultural festival as such it needs to be respect as such.
Politicians, he said, will never be the same with traditional leaders.
“Our ambitions are not the same. You see, the ruling DPP thinks all the activities that Gonapamuhanya pursued belong to them. This is wrong. They were trying to protect their authority. They didn’t want their counterparts to come in, but we challenged them. This is not a political issue, so we said: ‘Please can you get out of the arena’.
“Of course, they obeyed, but the village heads were very annoyed with them. They chased them away. This is what you should expect from politicians.”
During the event, DPP youth cadets unleashed a wave of terror that resulted in deaths and severe injuries. The DPP apologized to the public and promised an inquiry into the matter.
However the unfazed Chikulamayembe—who vowed that he will meet President Peter Mutharika on the matter—wasn’t shy to challenge the DPP for denting the beautiful event that is Gonapamuhanya.
“I also think that these people have a very private political motive. This is the second time they have done that.
“Last year, they started doing the same, but there were people who controlled them before things went out of hand.
7“This year, they have done it again. I think that there is a sinister motive. But all the same, this is a traditional event, not a political issue. We will not get disturbed by politicians. I have made that clear and I told them on Sunday that we will not be disturbed,” he said.
The supreme chief further added that, usually, usually, politicians are not invited to Gonapamuhanya.
We only invite the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and the President, he said, adding: “I believe that it is the two who invite other party officials and followers. So, it is these party officials who make a lot of noise, not the legislators or senior officials.”
Looking forward, Chikulamayembe said he has discussed the matter with his advisers and the rest of the chiefs.
“We are taking a step to deal with this once and for all. We want to talk to the President and other authorities to say that this is bad because they are painting a very bad image [of Gonapamuhanya] and we are not happy about it. We would not want to have this sort of situation next year.
“Shortly, I will be meeting the President [Peter Mutharika]. All in all, after the fracas, we had a very nice ceremony because we had a huge delegation from Zambia, we danced, ate and drunk. It was a very nice event.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :