Remarks by Deguzman Kaminjolo, a UTM Party sympathiser, through a Facebook post in which he posted that the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is a “disgraceful party full of ancestral spirits’ dancers” has forced the party to disown him.
The remarks have invoked spirited debate on social media, and on Tuesday, the Chewa Heritage Foundation (CHEFO) held a presser in the capital Lilongwe demanding an apology from Kaminjolo.
Kaminjolo, a journalist turned PR specialist – posted: “It must be frustrating being MCP knowing the election might be stolen but not knowing how. Vuto la chipani kungozadza alimi ndi a dance ya mizimu.”
In a telephone interview with Nyasa Times, UTM Secretary General, Patricia Kaliati, and her deputy, Levi Luwemba, have both distanced themselves from Kaminjolo’s remarks saying they are demeaning to the Chewa culture.
Kaliati said Kaminjolo does not hold any political position in UTM; and, therefore, whatever he was saying must have been in his personal capacity.
And during the media briefing, CHEFO secretary general, Richard Mdyetseni, said the grouping was disappointed and disapproved with the remarks Kaminjolo uttered against the ‘gule wamkulu’ and the Chewa people.
“We are giving 48 hours for Kaminjolo to apologise or else we will not hestitate to take unspecified action,” said Mdyetseni.
Mdyetseni said the majority of Chewa people are farmers, and that by demeaning them was like demeaning all the Chewa people.
He said there was a possibility that would release the Gulewamkulu to hold peaceful demonstrations against Kaminjolo’s remarks.
Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, a social commentator who is also a Chewa, said though he keeps his hands off from commenting on politics described Kaminjolo’s post as “degrading.”
“As a proud Chewa and executive member of CHEFO I urge Kaminjolo and the UTM to apologize to us the Chewa people. If indeed nothing is taken into account because of this fiendish statement then UTM should not expect any vote from any reasonable Chewa people,” said Mtumodzi.
He added: “Kaminjolo should be mindful of the fact that Malawi is a rainbow nation and people coexist. In my case Iemploy three Yaos who share similar cultural norms like Kaminjolo but I have never said anything that would demean their cultural heritage and traditional norms.”
Apparenlty, Mtumodzi and Kaminjolo were very close friends sharing same house together with Thom Chiumia when they were all practising journalists some 17 years ago.
Meanwhile, Kaminjolo also returned to Facebook Tuesday saying “there is no merit to apologize.”
According to Kaminjolo, he has no issues against any tribe.
“There is no mention of any tribe in my post. Alimi is a word exclusive for any particular tribe…dance ya mizimu is also not exclusive to one particular tribe. Vimbuza is a spirit dance. Amongst we Yaos we have a spirit dance called mpungulo,” wrote Kaminjolo.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :