Bloodsuckers saga overshadows cultural festival


What was supposed to be a pure cultural celebration turned out to be an opportunity for President Peter Mutharika to address Malawians on the alleged presence of ‘bloodsuckers’ in the country.

On Saturday, the President attended the official launch of the cultural grouping for Senas and Mang’anjas called Ngumano wa Asena na Mang’anja at Paramount Chief Lundu’s headquarters in Chikwawa, but his speech dwelled more on ‘alleged bloodsuckers’ than the cultural event.

President Mutharika with Paramount Chief Lundu at the ceremony

Said the President: “There is no evidence that there are bloodsuckers in the country. If anyone will be found attacking or accusing another of being a bloodsucker, they will be arrested. Let us concentrate on developing the country than dwelling on this issue because so far there is no evidence of any bloodsuckers in Malawi.”

On the formation of the tribal grouping, the President said he was happy that people of the Shire Valley have come together to form the grouping but reminded them that the biggest and supreme group is that of all Malawians.

He also took the opportunity to ask people of the Shire Valley to desist from practising some cultural beliefs that are harmful.

“Let’s refrain from practising harmful cultural practices. There are other cultural practices that put us at risk of catching the virus that causes Aids,” said the President.

Speaking earlier, chairperson of the Ngumano wa Amang’anja na Asena Owen Chimanika said through the grouping, the people of the two tribes will be closer and will reclaim their fading languages and way of life.

The launch of the grouping was characterised by traditional and cultural dances as well as music performances by renowned Shire Valley artists such as Lucky Stars and Stanley Nyandoro Nthenga. n


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