Richard Chimwendo Banda, the Minister of Local Government, Unity, and Culture, has commended the annual cultural festivals held by various tribal groups in the country for their role in preserving cultural traditions.
Chimwendo Banda conveyed these sentiments on Saturday as he presided over the Gonapamuhanya cultural festival in Bolero, Rumphi. He highlighted that these cultural festivals serve as a means for the older generation to pass down traditional ways of life, encompassing elements like cuisine, languages, dances, songs, and artifacts, to the younger generation.
The minister, responsible for culture, expressed his delight in witnessing different tribes organizing these annual cultural festivals, emphasizing that the preservation of culture necessitates the showcasing of traditional practices and values through such events.
However, Chimwendo Banda cautioned event organizers against using these cultural gatherings to foster divisions or advance their political party agendas. He stressed the importance of democracy, where individuals should have the freedom to associate with any political party they choose, regardless of their tribal or regional backgrounds.
Henry Mfune, the National Coordinator for Tumbuka Heritage, expressed concern about ongoing disputes over the Chikulamayembe chieftaincy between Joseph Bongololo Gondwe and Mtima Gondwe’s factions, despite a court ruling confirming Joseph Bongololo as the rightful heir to the throne. Mfune pointed out that these chieftaincy conflicts are counterproductive and tarnish the peaceful legacy of the Tumbuka people.
Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe, Bongololo Gondwe, extended an olive branch to Mtima Gondwe and his supporters, emphasizing his role as a fatherly figure who desires unity and peaceful coexistence among the Tumbuka people in the district.