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Creatives march to Parliament today

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Creatives, led by National Arts and Heritage Council (Nahec) taskforce, are set to march to Parliament today to sensitise legislators to the importance of passing Nahec Bill, which would pave the way for the establishment of Nahec.

Lilongwe City Council, in its letter dated March 1 2022 signed by acting Chief Executive Officer Vitto Mulula, has since granted the taskforce permission to hold what it has described as a cultural celebration and submit a petition letter to Parliament.

The taskforce’s chairperson Maxwell Chiphinga, popularly known as Max DC, said yesterday they were set for the march.

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“We are calling it an awareness march to engage with Parliament on the importance of Nahec Bill which, once passed, will pave the way for the establishment of Nahec,” Chiphinga, who is also National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) President, said.

The awareness march follows another petition that a group of creatives presented to Parliament last year on the same issue which was received by legislators Billy Kaunda and Mike Bango.

“A petition was presented to Parliament last year but, as a taskforce, we feel there is no progress, hence building up with this awareness march. We have exhausted all dialogue channels,” Chiphinga said.

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According to a poster Nahec taskforce has released, the march, or big walk as they are calling it, will feature performances by artists such as Dan Lufani, Evance Meleka, Collins Chitimbe and Khuza Rampi.

The march starts at Lilongwe Community Hall via Old Town to Parliament.

“We are united as creatives and we are in this together and we are calling upon heritage associations, promoters, musicians, visual artists, poets, writers, photographers, filmmakers and all creatives to be part of this important march. We want Nahec Bill tabled and we want the creative industry to receive support,” Chiphinga said.

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife spokesperson Symon Mbvundula, who recently bemoaned low budget to the ministry, said the issue of Nahec is strategic for development of the creative industries and heritage.

“In fact, we have been pushing the Ministry of Justice since we submitted the Nahec Bill and the other four bills for culture to Ministry of Justice last April. We have been assured by the Ministry of Justice that they will priotise the bill after this meeting of Parliament,” Mbvundula said.

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