Newly appointed Minister of Lands and Housing Henry Phoya must apologise to the Chewa for the comments he made last week when he defected to Malawiâ€™s ruling Peopleâ€™s Party (PP).
The Chewa community in the country on Monday demanded the apology from Phoya for hitting at the Gule wamkulu culture on Friday when he was justifying why he left the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to join PP.
“We are asking Phoya to apologise to us, the Chewas, because he has offended us. If he can do that, all Chewa chiefs and people will be happy.
“He may have said that out of excitement, but he must apologise for what he said,” said Chewa Heritage Foundation (Chefo) chairperson Dr. Justin Malewezi at a news conference in Lilongwe.
According to Malewezi, Phoya is quoted to have said that while in MCP, he was told to go for Gule Wamkulu initiation before fully joining MCP.
Said Malewezi: “The minister said he left MCP because he was told to go to Gule Wamkulu camp for initiation because only those who are initiated to Gule Wamkulu join the party.
“We are surprised and disappointed that when the minister was talking about problems he faced in MCP, he went on to attack our Chewa culture. That is provoking us. It is not true that we initiate people to join MCP or any other political party.”
Malewezi said the heritage will not drop the matter if Phoya does not apologise for his remarks.
“Phoya has his superiors. We cannot force him to apologise. If he doesnâ€™t apologise, we will take up the matter [with] his superiors. We donâ€™t think his superiors could be happy with what he said,” said Malewezi.
Phoya could not be reached on Monday as he was being sworn-in as Cabinet minister at the New State House.