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Umodzi Day Preparations Underway-Govt

Mwanza Mwanza - file photo

The Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture, says preparations are underway to hold the 2023 national cultural celebration called Umodzi Day, aimed at uniting Malawians divided in tribal and political lines.

Spokesperson for the ministry, Anjoya Mwanza explains that the event which is expected to be presided over by President Lazarus Chakwera, is unique in that all cultural heritage groups, religious and political representatives, will participate.

"Preparations for the 2023 celebrations of this day, which will be called Umodzi Day, are now underway. Soon the dates and venue will be announced," she said.

Mwanza has however indicated that the national celebration of this day does not mean that respective cultural heritage groups will not conduct their annual celebrations.

For some time, cultural groupings have been going solo in holding their annual festivals and last year, President Lazarus Chakwera expressed the desire to have the cultural celebration day for all the groups to promote unity.

A social and political commentator, Wonderful Mkhutche has hailed the government for the move, saying the cultural or tribal divisions have a bearing on politics and development of the country.

Mkhutche said, "These cultural and tribal divisions do not end in themselves but they even reveal themselves when it comes to politics. In the end, we find it challenging to build this nation because inherently it is built around tribes".

Meanwhile, a culture and traditions analyst, Ndabazake Aupson Thole suggests for a week's celebrations.

"I would have loved if we were taking of a national cultural week. When you are talking of a national cultural celebration day, you look like a republican celebration day when you do not have some many displays," he suggested.

Thole has since advised organisers that there should be no politics attached, "this is very commendable, but everyone should come as a cultural person, not as a political figure, students, no".

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