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Vol 50 No 23

Published 20th November 2009


The rise and rise of ethnic politics

The predominance of Lhomwe people in the government hierarchy raises doubts about Mutharika's nationalism

The star attraction of the Lhomwe cultural festival last month was President Bingu wa Mutharika: his presence reflects his growing use of his own ethnic identity to mobilise political support. The festival was held in the village of Chonde in the Mulanje District of southern Malawi. This is close to the Mozambican border, over which the Lhomwe people migrated in the course of the last two centuries and across which chiefs Mutharika, Nasiyaya, Mpeni and Khoromana came for this celebration.

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