Justin Malewezi, chairman of the Chewa Heritage Foundation, has asked newly appointed Minister of Lands, Housing Henry Phoya to apologise for offending Chewas on Friday when he justified why he left Malawi Congress Party( MCP) to join People’s Party – the ruling party.
Phoya last Friday said he left MCP because he was told to go to Gule Wamkulu camp for initiation because only those who are initiated to Gule Wamkulu join the party.
Gule Wamukulu is a big masked Chewa dance widely believed to be associated with magic.
“We are asking Phoya to apologise to us, the Chewas, because he has offended us. If he can do that, all Chewa chiefs and people will be happy,” said Malewezi who is also former vice president under the Muluzi administration.
” He may have said that out of excitement, but he must apologise for what he said,” Malewezi said during a press conference in Lilongwe.
“Phoya has his superiors. We cannot force him to apologise but if he doesn’t apologise, we will take up the matter to his superiors. We don’t think his superiors could be happy with what he said,” said Malewezi.
The Chewa people are widely believed to be the stronghold of Malawi’s oldest political party — MCP.
If Phoya doesn’t apologise, it could not go down well with President Joyce Banda who is trying to win the province for 2014 when she contests in presidential polls.