President Peter Mutharika Sunday said Malawians must continue living in peace irrespective of their tribes if the country is to develop.
Mutharika said this during this year’s Mulhako wa Alhomwe festival at Chonde in Mulanje District.
Mutharika said Malawians should not allow tribes and politics to divide the country.
“Let us not allow failed and frustrated politicians to divide us. Let us not allow tribes to divide us. There is no tribe which is superior to other tribes in Malawi. We are one. Let us love each other,” he said.
Mutharika hailed the late Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa for the demised traditional leader’s contribution towards development of the Lhomwe culture when he was alive.
He said it was sad that Ngolongoliwa died before publication of the Lhomwe directory.
Mutharika, who is also Patron of Mulhako wa Alhomwe, said Lhomwes lost a library rich in their history and culture in the passing of Ngolongoliwa.
He then challenged chiefs to be champions of progressive cultural practices in the country.
“Let us promote progressive cultural practices. But we should stop retrospective practices. We should stop risky cultural practices which are fueling the spread of HIV and Aids. During initiation ceremonies, let us encourage girls to go to school,” he said.
Chairperson of Mulhako wa Alhomwe cultural heritage Leston Mulli echoed Mutharika’s remarks, saying Lhomwes will always live in harmony with people of other tribes.
He said the presence of Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngonis in Zambia, and several other chiefs across the country during the celebrations, was a sign that Malawi remains a united nation.
“Politicians want to divide us for their personal reasons, but we are one,” he said.
During the celebrations, the first board chairperson of Mulhako wa Alhomwe, Bright Mangulama, departed Lhomwe Paramount Chiefs Mkhumba and Ngolongoliwa, and the late president Bingu wa Mutharika received posthumous honours for their contribution towards the strengthening of the Lhomwe culture.