PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa Saturday ignored the whole drama around Matabeleland North Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni which has heightened tensions in Bulawayo.
He was officially opening this year's edition of the Zimbabwe Culture Week in Harare on Saturday.
The event was also attended by president of the Chiefs' Council Fortune Charumbira.
Chief Ndiweni torched a storm few days ago when he bluntly said western powers were justified in extending sanctions against the Zanu PF led administration whose acts of commission and omission have worsened the plight of suffering locals.
The outspoken traditional leader's comments invited both verbal and physical attacks by individuals linked to Zanu PF with the chief at one time accosted by some Zanu PF youths in Bulawayo's CBD.
Presented with an opportunity to publicly address the matter and possibly ease tensions in Bulawayo, Mnangagwa evaded the subject.
Instead, he took time to shower praises on China which he said has done well to preserve its culture over centuries.
Mnangagwa bemoaned the speed with which Zimbabweans were quick to abandon their own culture especially when they return from the diaspora.
"There was trade between the Munhumutapa Empire and the Chinese Empire. Our relationship dates back centuries.
"They however managed to preserve their culture and traditions; even if you get to their hospitals they have shelves of modern medicines and shelves for their traditional medicines which they give similar importance.
"We should celebrate and preserve our differences and cultures; not fall victim to sentiments that if you use vernacular you are primitive... we know of people who come back using fake accents after visiting foreign lands for less than two years."