The Yao tribesmen have clashed with the formation of two heritage groups all claiming to be preserving their culture, similar to what former Malawi president the late Bingu wa Mutharika, formed – Mulhako wa Alhomwe .
Recently, a group calling itself ‘Chiwanja cha Ayao’ literary meaning an Association/organisation for the Yao, was announced but another group Ndamo Sya Yao which went into hibernation has said it is existing.
“The group is in full existence and active,” the group’s secretary Martha Magombo told Nyasa Times.
She said Ndamo Sya Yao will launch soon and its chairperson remains Steve Shabani.
But Chiwanja cha Ayao spokesman Rev. MacDonald Sembereka told Nyasa Times that that the group’s main purpose is to “preserve, promote and nurture the Yao values and norms among those who call themselves such and the upcoming generations.”
He said the process has taken years but now “a more united independent interim committee was formed on 6th September 2014 headed by chairman Dr. Allan Chilimba who is deputised by Alhaji Twaibu Lawe.
But Magombo accused Sembereka of “dividing the Yao People probably for personal gain as one tribe cannot have two parallel heritage groups.”
She said: “I wish to remind the Reverend Sembereka and the public that Ndamo Sya Ayao was fully registered and has its Constitution as such it is not necessary to have another grouping.”