Malawi: Chewa Heritage Foundation Encourages Peaceful Protests

The Chewa Heritage Foundation (CHEFO) has embarked on a campaign in Lilongwe rural to sensitise residents to the need to conduct demonstrations.

Members of the Chewa group and other stakeholders meeting

Speaking during a meeting organized by Lilongwe District Council, the chairperson for the foundation, Lyson Banda said the campaign follows violent scenes during recent demonstration that let to destruction of property.

Banda said they have received reports that Gule Wamkulu caused chaos which put people's lives in danger, so they want to make sure that their culture's good reputation is maintained.

"We heard that Gule Wamkulu is everywhere especially in T/A Kabudula, Khongoni, Mtema and that head teachers, teachers and business people are being terrorised during demonstrations.

"So, we need to civic educate people that they should separate culture and tribe from their different political undertakings," Banda said.

Lilongwe Rural west desk officer in the Ministry of Education, Konzi Phiri said that over 20 schools have been affected in various T/As like Kalolo, Kabudula, Mtema, Khongoni, and Njewa.

"In the education sector, we are deeply concerned with the destruction of property because it will cost a lot of money to repair which is a challenge for us.

"As we are talking, some students are not in school because they are being chased, but they are forgetting that these children are the leaders of tomorrow and the good foundation is to make sure they are educated," said Phiri.

In his remarks, Lilongwe District Commissioner, Lawford Palani said many services have been disrupted by some people who are destroying schools, a people's houses as well as businesses in the name of demonstrations.

"That is why we called different stakeholders from different sections so that we can map the way forward together," said Palani.

Palani commended the Chewa group for the initiative.

Meeting attendees included political party members, traditional leaders, police officers and district education managers.

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