By JULIUS PHIRI –
PARAMIOUNT CHIEF Kalonga Gawa Undi of the Chewa people of Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique has called for the revival of the popular growth triangle for the benefit of the three neighbouring countries.
Speaking during this year’s Kulamba traditional ceremony of the Chewa people held at Mkaika — the Chewa headquarters — in Katete yesterday, the chief said it was sad that there was no talk about the Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique growth triangle from the governments’ side.
He said through Kulamba national organising committee secretary Raphael Phiri that the revival of talks on the growth triangle would significantly foster regional integration and economic development in the three countries.
“Let me remind the three Governments on the need to have Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique develop the growth triangle operations because of its success story. This will yield a lot of benefits for the people in the three countries,” he said.
The traditional leader also urged the Government to promote drought-resistant crops because of the change in climate.
He said currently, most of the households faced hunger because of lack of food after the poor rainfall experienced during the last farming season.
The Government, he said, should also continue promoting crop diversification across the country.
He also appealed to the three neighbouring countries to stop interfering in the affairs of chiefs.
He said the traditional leadership was capable of handling their affairs without involving the governments.
The Gawa Undi also appealed to the Government to promote thermal power to avert power problems.
He, however, thanked ZESCwO for improving power supply.
The chief also urged parents against sending their girl-children into early marriages and boys to herd cattle at the expense of education.
He said the future of the country lies in the children, and that there was need to send them to school for the betterment of the country.
The paramount chief thanked the people who turned up for the traditional ceremony, saying Zambians should embrace one another despite belonging to different political parties.
He asked whoever emerged as victors in the August 11 general elections to embrace all tribes for the benefit of the country.
Kulamba is a Chewa traditional ceremony in which Chewa chiefs pay homage to their king, Kalonga Gawa Undi.
The chiefs briefed the king on the situation in their chiefdoms, highlighting major issues and developments, adding that the Kulamba ceremony started before the 15th Century.
They also presented gifts to the king.
President-elect Edgar Lungu arrived around 08:00 hours and proceeded to greet the paramount chief.
Immediately after the courtesy call, Mr Lungu and the paramount chief emerged and serious business began.
Various traditional dances were sampled at the main arena.
In 1934, the British colonial authorities, under pressure from the missionaries, banned the Kulamba ceremony.
The missionaries viewed Kulamba as a pagan ritual which promoted immorality and was a barrier to their mission of converting Africans to Christianity.
It is also possible that the colonial authority felt threatened by the Kulamba ceremony as it had the potential of weakening their control over Africans.
The Kulamba ceremony remained banned for 50 years until Kalonga Gawa Undi X (Chibvunga) revived it in 1984.
While in the past each individual chief performed the Kulamba ceremony at their own time, Kulamba is now an event which takes place on the last Saturday of August every year.
The current king is Kalonga Gawa Undi XI, who is the fourth of the Mkhomo reign.