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Chakwera hails cultural diversity

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By Feston Malekezo

President Lazarus Chakwera has said cultural diversity is a recipe needed for the development of a country in various aspects of economy, tourism and institutional transformation.

Chakwera who was speaking at this year’s Umthetho Cultural festival yesterday implored Malawians to aspire to build around the production of cultural clothes, promotion of cultural foods, the teaching of local languages and the presentation of cultural dances to realize the developmental transformation.

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Chakwera added that cultural diversity enriches a country socially arguing that whenever people gather to celebrate a particular culture, it is for the benefit of all Malawians.

“In fact, the loss of values in certain parts and members of our society is partly due to the fact that a new generation of Malawians is being raised without any grounding and anchoring in the social values that our diverse culture provides.

“Just look at the cultural expressions of all the tribes in Malawi and you will see the common thread of social values that runs through all of them,” he said.

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Commenting on the accessibility of National Economic Empowerment Fund (Neef) loans Chakwera said no one will be given loans because of an allegiance to a political party highlighting that presently K37 billion has been disbursed to over 100,000 people across the country.

He then encouraged the youth not to relent in submitting business proposals for Neef’s consideration.

In his remarks, Vice President Saulos Chilima said apart from its intrinsic value, the ceremony reinforces the need to keep and value different cultures as a people and as a country.

Chilima added that culture unites a nation and fosters development.

However, host, Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa 5 expressed concern that Neef limited takes time to disburse loans.

M’mbelwa said a lot of youth in his area have applied for the loans but they are yet to access them stressing that his area has a lot of fertile land suitable for agribusiness.

M’mbelwa further decried loss of morals in the country saying at times people have opted to taking pictures of a person dying other than helping.

The Ngoni chief noted that a good number of households in his area will be food insecure, hence calling on the government to support them.

Unpacking the cultural festival’s theme Chairperson of Mzimba Heritage Association Overtone Mazunda said irregular migration is being propelled by lack of employment in Malawi.

He said the jobs being exported could have been harnessed if the country became a producing nation.

The celebrations were celebrated under the theme ‘Campaign against irregular migration and trafficking in persons’.

The four-day cultural festival pulled attendance of people from all walks of life such international dignitaries, academicians and faith leaders such as Prophet Shepherd Bushiri.

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