President Peter Mutharika yesterday used the Umtheto festival of the Ngoni in Mzimba to preach love, decrying that many Malawians do not love one another, instead focus on promoting hate and nepotism.
Speaking at the foot of Hora Mountain, where the event was held under the theme ‘Culture and development’he urged various tribal groups in the country to use their culture to promote love and unity.
This was the second time Mutharika patronised the event since becoming President in 2014. He first attended the festival in 2015.
Mutharika said culture, besides defining a particular tribe, is also about values that are needed to develop Malawi.
“As Malawians, we need to love our country, our culture, traditions, but let us also love one another. We need to develop the culture of loving one another, because many Malawian don’t love one another.
“Many Malawians like squabbles, divisions and have hatred towards one another. Let us stop this. We have different tribal groupings like the Tumbuka, Ngoni and Yao, but we are all Malawians,” he said.
The President added that culture was also about how people collectively think on whether to develop or destroy their nation.
“There is no single tribe that is more superior than the other, we are all humans, let us respect one another. There can be no single tribe that can claim to be more Malawian than the other because history tells us that we are all immigrants who came from somewhere to settle in this country,” he said, further decrying that there are some people who want Malawians to fight one another.
“Let us say a strong no to any tribal divisions. I have always called for hard work, integrity and patriotism. We must use our culture to teach the young generation the values of these three. We should never be disturbed by people who have no development agenda for this country,” he added.
Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V, who went political in his speech, thanked the President for his support towards the event.
Apart from praising Mutharika as an adept leader who loves culture, M’mbelwa wished him well ahead of the 2019 elections, during which Mutharika will be seeking a second mandate.
“Next year, we have elections in this country, and this is our elections as Malawians. What I mean is that everybody has the responsibility to register so that he or she can elect leaders of their choice.
“Your Excellency, I want to wish you well as you will be participating in the elections next year, we are with you. For us in Mzimba, we work with the government of the day, this is what my grandfathers were doing, and I am following the same,” he said.
M’mbelwa then presented Mutharika with a shield, saying: “I want you to use it to protect yourself against your enemies, it will take you where you want to go.”
Conspicuously missing at the event were Vice-President Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera.