The Tumbuka ethnic group in Rumphi on Saturday celebrated their annual cultural event, Gonapamuhanya, amid appeals to chiefs in the district to understand the concept of federalism before taking a position.
Speaking at the event in reference to a biblical story where the Jews chose Barnabas in place of Jesus to be freed from crucifixion, Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya, who was guest of honour, called on chiefs to understand “things” before making decisions.
He said: “When people don’t understand things they tend to make wrong decisions. Even the Jews in the Bible chose Barnabas instead of Jesus.
“But if they had known that Jesus is the truth and life, they would not have made that decision. Understand first. Do research. If you don’t understand, ask, even if it means asking your children.”
Recently, presidential adviser on national unity and parliamentary affairs Symon Vuwa-Kaunda engaged chiefs in the Northern Region to give their stand on calls to have a federal system of government.
Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe was one of the chiefs who spoke against such calls, saying he would not allow “some people to divide this country.”
Vuwa Kaunda, speaking on behalf of the President at the celebrations, called for unity, peace and security for socio-economic development.
“We need to be united as one country. If one says ‘let’s unite, forgive each other and be one person,’ is such a person bad? But if one says ‘let’s fight,’ is such a person good? Let’s all move in unity because that’s when we can develop,” he said.
During Gonapamuhanya, the Tumbuka commemorate the first Chikulamayembe named Gonapamuhanya who settled at Bolero in Rumphi where the Chikulamayembe chieftaincy is today.