Tension Among Chewa and Ngonis In Dowa As Gulewamkulu Splits Feathers
A Chewa village and a Ngoni village are daggers drawn in Dowa district where the former is accusing the latter of abusing gulewamkulu, a Chewa traditional mask dance.
The battle lines have been drawn between people of Kaluzi and Gawamadzi villages as well as Khumalo village under Traditional Authority Chiwere in the district.
Chewa Group village headman Kaluzi claims that Ngoni people from Gawamadzi and Khumalo villages are abusing gulewamkulu by invading Dowa boma where they are demanding money, stealing food stuff and clothes from people.
In a show of protection of their traditional rites, gulewamkulu from the area of Chewa village head, armed with panga knives and other dangerous weapons, descended on Gawamadzi and Khumalo villages in a demonstration of anger over the issue.
A fight later broke out between the two sets of gulewamkulu (one from the Chewa and the other the Ngoni) with people from the villages pelting stones at each other.
Some people, including gulewamkulu were reportedly injured during the fracas.
Kaluzi has since vowed to defend Chewa traditional rites “even if it means defending physically what we believe in” against the Ngoni village neighbours in Dowa.
“We are mobilizing 500 Gulewamkulu to attack Gawamadzi village in the next two days to completely shut down the village,” Kaluzi said.
On his part, Ngoni village head Khumalo says he will not take that sitting but respond accordingly should gulewamkulu provoke any of his subjects.
“Let them dare come. Whether at night or during the day. We are ready. We are going to fight back,” Khumalo said.
Dowa police spokesperson, Sub-Inspector Gladson M'bumpha, says the office has not received any complaint over this matter.