KALONGA Gawa Undi of the Chewa people in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique says education is important and critical in the attainment of the much-needed prosperity.
And the Litunga of Western Province says tribalism is a cancer, which should not be allowed to grow further.
In a speech read on his behalf by his Induna David Phiri during the 2018 Kulamba traditional ceremony of the Chewa people at Mkaika, Chewa headquarters in Katete yesterday, Gawa Undi urged his chiefs to ensure that young people go to school.
“Allow me to remind the Chewa people who are here, the key for hard work if we are to succeed in our endeavours. Education is the key for us to succeed. The importance of education, especially for the young people is very critical in order for our countries to attain the much-needed prosperity. In this regard, it is the duty and responsibility of both the traditional authority and our respective governments to ensure that our people invest in education,” he said.
Gawa Undi said early marriages were a practice that should be discouraged as they impact negatively on the girl child.
“May I appeal to all our chiefs and the Chewa people at large to disregard some of our traditional practices that endanger our lives,” he said.
Gawa Undi paid tribute to the Litunga for accepting to grace the ceremony.
He said Litunga’s attendance at the ceremony had changed the whole scenario and characteristics of the ceremony.
Gawa Undi said apart from fostering and strengthening national unity, the coming of the Litunga would promote One Zambia, One Nation motto.
And the Litunga, in his speech, read on his behalf by the Ngambela, said tribalism was slowly destroying the good relationships that were created by the forefathers.
“I wish to address the ever-growing cancer of tribalism. As traditional leaders, we should not allow this cancer to grow any further. I wish to take this opportunity to challenge leaders to join and spearhead the fight against tribalism. This cancer is slowly destroying the good relationships that were cultivated by our forefathers and left for us to nurture. Tribalism is a disease of mind, body and soul. Traditional leaders should crush it,” he said.
The Litunga said the cultural exchange programme was a fountain of peace in the country and should be appreciated by all Zambians.
“I appeal to government to support the creation of unity in Zambia through this godly act,” he said.
Litunga said traditional leaders continue to play an important role in matters of governance and development.
“Allow me to use this platform to urge traditional leadership countrywide to partner with government in order to sustain local and national development through the preservation and sustainable utilisation of natural resources. We are alive to the fact that culture is dynamic, and societies continue to grow and evolve, let us not lose what is ours as we embrace the change,” he said.
Litunga said it was necessary to safeguard the cultural heritage by transferring the knowledge and skills from one generation to another.
He said provincial boundaries should not be an obstacle for the integration of cultural norms.
The ceremony was attended by Chiefs Affairs minister Lawrence Sichalwe, local government minister Vincent Mwale, Eastern Province minister Makebi Zulu, Malawi’s Minister of Civic education and Community Development, several MPs and traditional leaders.