Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe of Rumphi has said he has forgiven the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for the fracas that its youth cadets caused during the Gonapamuhanya cultural event last year.
Ironically, while welcoming the forgiveness, DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila has said his party never wronged Chikulamayembe if anything, they were not aware that they had wronged the chief.
During the ceremony on September 30 2017, DPP youth cadets, clad in their party attire, threw stones at leaders of opposition political parties that attended the ceremony at Bolero in Rumphi.
A woman only identified as Nyaunthali, who was part of a Zambian delegation to the ceremony died in the wee hours of October 1 after her blood pressure (BP) rose due following the fracas.
Chikulamayembe then accused the ruling party for the fracas, and demanded an apology from Mutharika for the ‘sins’ of his cadets.
But speaking on the sidelines of the official commissioning of a cold room at Rumphi District Hospital recently, Chikulamayembe said as a traditional leader, he has decided to forgive them.
The remarks followed a call from Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure Jappie Mhango that Chikulamayembe and other chiefs need to meet Mutharika and thank him for various development projects in the district.
“At some point, we will come to ask you, that where the President is doing well, you can go and meet him, just to thank him for the various developments taking place here,” he said.
Chikulamayembe welcomed the idea, but said there was need to “put their house in order” first before embarking on such a praise-singing trip.
Asked if the proposed trip was ideal for him, especially with the Gonapamuhanya fracas, the Tumbuka chief said he has forgiven those responsible.
“Traditionally, I am supposed to be forgiving, and I have forgiven them. I just assume that they don’t know what they did to us, therefore, they are forgiven,” said the chief.
However, in an interview, DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila said he was not aware that his party wronged Chikulamayembe.
“The DPP never wronged him, but still, we welcome that idea that he has forgiven the party,” said Kasaila.
During the cultural event, the Tumbuka people commemorate the first Chikulamayembe named Gonapamuhanya because of his tendency to bask in the sun after a meal.