By Isaac Salima:
Organisers of cultural festival, Mulhako wa Alhomwe, have said they will not extend an invitation to President Lazarus Chakwera to this year’s event.
The festival will take place at Chonde in Mulanje District on October 9, 2022.
Mulhako wa Alhomwe’s Southern Region chairperson Blessings Makwinja told journalists ahead of the event that they have taken the stand following what he called lack of commitment by Chakwera’ government to support them.
“We have been complaining of so many injustices that this government has been subjecting us, Lhomwes, to but President Chakwera has been ignoring us. We will not invite him. Like how the ceremony happened last year, we will hold it without his presence,” Makwinja said.
He further said the President should, instead use the money that could have been used to attend the event in addressing other challenges that the country is facing.
Makwinja claimed that the president would have used about K53 million if he was to attend the event.
Government spokesperson Gospel Kazako refused to comment on the issue.
However, governance expert Makhumbo Munthali said the grouping is denying itself an opportunity to pour out the concerns it has against the government.
“While austerity concerns may be valid, the attendance of the President during such events outweighs such concerns in as far as the national unification project is concerned. The President’s participation in the festival would therefore be an important step towards a unification project,” Munthali said.
President Chakwera has so far attended all cultural festivals and the Mulhako festival might be his first one to miss.
It is also expected to attend a Chiwanja Cha Ayao event scheduled for October 22, 2022, in Mangochi.