President Lazarus Chakwera has said the Chewa annual Cultural event of Kulamba is a source of unity among people of different tribes and the three countries of Malawi Mozambique and Zambia.
He was speaking at Mkaika in Zambia on Saturday, August 27,2022 when he attended this year’s Kulamba ceremony when the Chewa from the three countries gather to pay homage to the King, Chilombo Kalonga Gawaundi.
In his speech, President Chakwera described the event as fostering national and regional unity.
“I m particularly glad that beyond the national unity that is fostered by cultural celebrations like this, the Kulamba ceremony also promotes regional unity and it is jointly attended by people from three neighboring countries. This underscore the special place of the Chewa heritage in the national lives of three countries, as such on this day we are witnessing different ways in which these three countries add value to the colorful cultural expressions as displayed here.
And the timing of the gathering could not be more perfect considering that on of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic for the past two years has been the forced separation of people of the same family and cultural groups from each other. But now the period of separation is ending, and we thank God for allowing us to come together and experience the beauty of bring one people for ours is oneness that goes beyond our borders. This means the Presence of Chewa people in all three of our nations is an asset and an opportunity that can be leveraged for enhancing solidarity and relations between these three nations.” Said President Chakwera in part of his speech.
Malawi leader told the Kulamba gathering that this method of pursuing unity motivated him to participate in this year’s ceremony of Kulamba as one way of celebrating uniqueness and beauty of all major cultural groups and traditions in Malawi for him.
He added: “Although I have found the celebration of every cultural group meaningful and enriching, I have looked forward to this particular celebration of my own culture, the Chewa culture. I must therefore that both, Your Majesty Kalonga Gawaundi, and Your Excellency Hakainde Hichilema of the Republic of Zambia, and indeed all the Zambian people for welcoming us here so warmly, we do not take it for granted.”
President Chakwera took time to narrate how he is moving forward in uniting Malawian people regardless of their culture or tribe, saying during his course of Presidency he has made it a goal to unite different cultural groups of Malawi around developmental vision for the country.
“My approach for fostering unity has focused on three pursuits.
The first pursuit has been to ensure that infrastructural projects and social economic programs of my government are equally spread across the country so that all Malawians if all cultural groups have a stake in the developmental benefits we are implementing.
As we speak there is no part of the country where you will not find new roads or railway under construction, nor any district in Malawi where you will not find Malawians who have started businesses using funds from either our loan program or social transfer program.” Added President Chakwera.
Further, the President told the gathering that not only do such programs unite Malawians, but that it also upholds the Constitution of the country which shrives development as fundamental right of all Malawians.
Chakwera also said Malawians are being united around the development that has to ensure that recruitment into government positions is based on merit and not tribal affiliation, saying this is being done to ensure that institutions have the legal mandate to recruit Malawians into different positions and should have no interference from political forces eager to give unfair advantage to their tribe than others by giving them necessary resources for their operations, adding that this is also applied in giving government contracts and enrollment into government schools.
In his speech, President Chakwera said the presence of over 140 Chewa chiefs from 21 districts of Malawi at Kulamba ceremony evidenced how the Chewa people have spread themselves across Malawi and that they are a tool for advancing unity and coexistence among all Malawians.
He then commended Chilombo Kalonga Gawaundi for promoting values that bring Chewas and other tribes together while also promoting education, cultural reforms, economic values, and sharing of sufferings citing how Zambian government came to the aid of some Malawians when they were involved in a terrible accident few days ago in Zambia, as well as how it acted when a Chinese citizen fled to the country from Malawi as a gesture worth commendable.
But President Chakwera said time has come to consider the people of the three countries to freely be traveling among their countries without having traveling documents.
Kulamba is the annual Chewa cultural festival that takes place at Mkaika in Katete-Zambia where the Chewa of Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique pay homage to their King, Chirombo Kalonga Gawaundi.