President Lazarus Chakwera said all cultural festivals of different tribes across the country will from next year 2023 be celebrated on a single day, National Day of Unity.
Chakwera was speaking Saturday during the Tumbukas annual Gonapamuhanya Cultural Festival at Bolero in Rumphi District.
He said the National Unity Day was established to demonstrate governments commitment towards the promotion the Malawian national identity and dignity and national heritage.
He added that cultural festivals are critical in the development of the country as they create platform through different tribes can reflect on modernizing harmful cultural practices and traditions.
“There some cultural traditions and practices are detrimental to women and girls. They take away self-esteem from females, thereby maki9ng males feel that they are superior to females,” said Chakwera.
The President said some of the harmful cultural practices promote forced and prearranged marriages where girls are married off to debts to a creditor as others contribute to transmission of diseases such as HIV and AIDS.
“Harmful cultural practices have no space in Malawi as they counteract the fight against genders based violence and human rights abuses.
This is a republic nation which is governed by law not by men, therefore let me ask civil society organisations and the people themselves to be reporting any for human rights abuse to police for the law to take its course,” he said.
Chakwera also urged government Ministries, departments and agencies to be wealth creators not consumers saying the countrys wealth is not a cake which should consumed but multiplied for the common good of the country.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Blessings Chinsinga, advised chiefs in the country against selling land to foreigners, saying doing so will in future affect Malawians negatively.
“Traditional leaders should at all cost refrain from promoting child marriages and sale of land to foreigners. You should practice fair case handling to promote justice and peace in your areas,” said Chinsinga.
Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe took advantage of the ceremony to urge chiefs under his jurisdiction to engage their subjects in promoting environmental conservation to minimize the impact of climate change on peoples livelihoods.
He also advised the Tumbuka people to coexist with people of other tribes as they guard jealously their language culture and tradition against dilution.
“Let us promote our language through book writing and speaking in Tumbuka. We should also to continue to be peace loving people with integrity and patriotic values by refraining from corrupt practices,” said Chikulamayembe.
The Tumbuka Paramount Chief asked Chakwera to thank the President of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema for creating conducing environment for easy interaction between Tumbuka People of Malawi and Zambia.
Gonapamuhanya is held in commemoration of the first Tumbuka King, Chikulamayembe who was named Gonapamuhanya and ruled the Nkhamanga Kingdom from 1805.
The ceremony takes place annually at Themba la Mathemba Chikulamayembes Headquarters at Bolero in Rumphi District.
Some dignitaries who attended the ceremony included, Speaker of National Assembly, Catherine Gotani Hara, Former Vice President, Khumbo Kachali, Paramount Chief Mmbelwa and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Vice President for the north, Harry Mkandawire, chiefs Mbamba and Kifungwe and government officials from Zambia.