Reports circulating that Mulhakho Wa Lhomwe has decided to ‘uninvite’ President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera to it’s annual event is not surprising but unfortunate.
The Cultural grouping says they have not invited the Malawi Head of State so that the country saves money estimated to be K53 million that should have been used during the trip and instead should be used for other pressings needs.
And why is every President Chakwera’s engagement should be considered as a loss? Surely, as a nation we don’t expect President Chakwera to confine himself to the State House. The President was elected by popular mandate. He was elected by trust and once in a while he is supposed to be found among people he reign over and that do not come for free.
And the money President Chakwera’s activities use are budgeted for. This money is drawn from the allocation of his Office and it is erroneous to think that the money that should have been used should have been used on other needs. Weird thinking. Why? Simply because Government always plans its activities ahead, activities are not done harphazadly.
As Khumbo Kachali the former State Vice President has said this is “lame excuse”. The availability of President Chakwera at any cultural festival cannot be measured in any monetary terms.
But Mulhakho’s decision is hardly surprising. Unlike other Cultural grouping such as Umthetho wa Ngoni, Umhlangano wa Maseko and Kulamba festivals which President has graced and Chiwanja Cha a Yao to be held later this year, Mulhakho wa Lhomwe is a brainchild of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The grouping started when President Bingu wa Mutharika was in power and at some point Bingu was its patron. While the other cultural groups are spearheaded by Paramount Chiefs in that particular tribe.
The existence of the group was solely to strengthen the DPP support base which to a large extent is the Lhomwe tribe.
Bingu was a segregationist and the grouping grew detaching itself from all Malawians simply because it was formed out of politics-a DPP group and remained as such until now such that the availability at the event was solely on DPP affiliation. To belong to Mulhakho is to belong to DPP. There was no thin line between the two
Like any other social grouping, anyone outside the DPP circle felt out of place but President Chakwera as the first citizen has no luxury to choose a tribe and it is out of courtesy that he is invited to any of such gatherings and his gracing of the function was an opportunity for the grouping to move away from the party card. This is a missed opportunity for the tribal grouping to diss the State President on petty political affiliation.