A new Chewa cultural group has emerged on the scene. It is called Bwalo la Achewa.
The new group which had its first convention in Dowa last Friday and Saturday says it intends to concentrate on the local scene.
Speaking during the convention, the executive director of the grouping, Reverend Flywell Somanje said the new group will be local while the Chewa Heritage Foundation (Chefo) will continue to operate internationally as it encompasses Chewas from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
Somanje, therefore, claimed that this meant that nationally, Chewas had not recognised grouping hence the establishment of the Bwalo la a Chewa Foundation.
“Bwalo la a Chewa is a national grouping which will be operating at national level. It will be locally registered to be recognised by the Government of Malawi,” he said.
The convention elected office bearers that included group village headman (GVH) Mkanthama from Dowa as chairman of the chief’s council with group village headman Chiwaya from Ntchisi as his vice.
The convention also elected Wisdom Chimgwede and Jolly Kalelo as director of communication and vice respectively while Gabriel Kamlomo was elected as director of youth.
Guest of honour at the convention, the representative of paramount chief Lundu, Anthony Malunga, advised the office bearers to refrain from active political affiliations so that they serve the best interests of the Chewas.
“I encourage and advise you to operate in line with the core values of the Chewa tribe and not to serve certain political interests.
However, secretary general of the Chewa Heritage Foundation (Chefo) Richard Mdyetseni said the new group is being divisive in its action by creating a new Chewa cultural group when there is already one in place.
“They may have genuine reasons to feel the need to have a new group but this is not the way to go. They should come to Chefo with a list of their grievances so that as one people we can solve them,” said Mdyetseni.
He said Chewa king Gawa Undi recognizes Chefo and its leadership as the legitimate group of Chewas in Malawi.
“I hope we will be able to talk and resolve our issues without having to divide our people. We are one people and therefore, we do not need to be in two groups,” said Mdyetseni. n