Eastern province royal foundation has expressed concern at government’s intention to streamline traditional ceremonies so that it can only participate in one in each of the nine provinces in a year.
Chief Mazimawe of the Ngoni people of Chipata district said traditional ceremonies provide government with an opportunity to explain its policies and developmental programs to the people.
Senior chief Nsefu of the kunda of Mambwe district ruled out possibilities of merging the ceremonies saying all traditional ceremonies in the province were an asset of various ethnic groupings.
Chief Nsefu stated that if government was not ready to continue its support to the traditional ceremonies, then it should let the ceremonies continue without its support.
“Traditional ceremonies were initiated by traditional leaders and chiefs used to manage to host the occasion even without support from government. Government only came in to support, so we can continue to host them as it was before without support from government,” he said.
He stressed that no ethnic tribe could be forced to join another because each one of them has different traditional beliefs and practices.
“My fear is that the merging of these ceremonies may lead to a cold war, because it might lead to the loss of traditional and cultural practices which are of great importance to chiefs because they are a pride of a tribe, he added.
The traditional ruler further noted that traditional ceremonies represented unique beliefs which were not similar to all other tribes hence the need not to merge their ceremonies which were based on different cultural beliefs of their traditions.
And chief Mumbi of the Nsenga people of Petauke district said the six ethnic groupings in the province host ceremonies to portray their unique cultural practices therefore, they could not be merged.
“For instance, the Nsenga celebrate their ceremony ‘Tuwimba’ to pray for the rains so that they can produce adequate agricultural produce while the Ngoni celebrate the Nc’wala to thank God for the harvest among others,’ he said.
Chief Mumbi also expressed fear that if some traditional ceremonies were not held, the affected tribes might feel belittled.
Meanwhile, chief Mwangala of the Chewa people in Chadiza district expressed concern that government was the one that initially supported the resuscitation of traditional ceremonies and wondered why it saw it ideal to do away with some now..
Chief Mwangala said traditional ceremonies provide avenues for respect of the various ethnic groupings because they teach their children to appreciate their cultural heritage.