By Chisomo Phiri
Minister of local government, unity and culture Richard Chimwendo Banda has warned politicians in the country against using cultural groupings for their political gains, saying politics and culture are two different things.
Chimwendo Banda who was speaking when he represented President Lazarus Chakwera at a Chewa Heritage Foundation (Chefo) fundraising activity at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe, said instead, politicians should be promoting peaceful coexistence among people regardless of their cultural backgrounds.
The minister also appealed to custodians of various cultural groupings in the country to rally behind government’s programmes such education and ending child marriages.
“We are blessed to have different cultural ceremonies but these should not create boundaries among us but rather act as a cementing ingredient to our Malawian identity. No one should make us believe that we are different,” said Chimwendo Banda.
He said time has come when Malawians should stop aligning political affiliation to region, tribe or ethnicity rather think of the better future of the country and make positive contributions.
The Minister said government is restoring the powers and respect of chiefs so that they should in turn help government preach peace and unity to their subjects.
On his part, Chefo chairperson Stanley Khaira asked the Chewas to leave in harmony among themselves and with other tribes in order to ensure a peaceful Malawi.
Khaira said the Chewa king Kalonga Gawa Undi always advises his chiefs to live in harmony with other tribes and always lead their people by example.
The fundraising activity was attended by Chefo leadership, chiefs, politicians from different parties and representatives of other cultural groups including the Lhomwe, Ngoni, Tumbuka and Yao.