Malawiâ€™s Minister of Local Government Grace Maseko on Saturday hailed the cultural unity among Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.
Speaking at the annual Kulamba traditional ceremony, where chiefs from the three countries pay homage to the supreme ruler for the Chewa, Kalonga Gawa Undi,Â Maseko said the three countriesâ€™ history remains one.
â€œWe are united and have to continue to work together in various spheres, including culture, education and technology. That is the root for development,â€ said Maseko, who is also an MP in Zomba.
Maseko was representing Malawiâ€™s President Joyce Banda at the annual gathering attended by over 200 Chewa chiefs and thousands of their subjects.
In a speech read on his behalf, Gawa Undi hailed the unity among the three countries. He also asked the Zambian government to improve a farm input subsidy programme for that country, to make cheaper and more free inputs accessible to the vulnerable poorâ€”a message that resonated with Malawians.
Chewas and people from other tribes trekked to the Zambian eastern province district of Katete to pay homage to the Chewa king, whose history dates back to the time the tribe moved from Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) to spread across the three countries.
According to Chewa Heritage Foundation (Chefo) chairperson Justin Malewezi, 1.5 million people stepped on Mkaika during this yearâ€™s celebration.
â€œIt unites the Chewa people of Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. This year, at least 1.5 million people came here. Apart from celebrating the richness of the Chewa culture, this is also the time Chewa chiefs from the three countries pay homage to their supreme ruler,â€ said Malewezi.
The event was characterised by traditional dances from the three countries. Gule wamkulu, a traditional dance protected on the international
scene as an intangible heritage act, dominated the event.