Malawi Police officers in Balaka district on Wednesday held a meeting with chiefs at Mpulura Area in the district on the importance of timely closure of initiation camps.
The police urged the villagers to close their camps before the next school year starts on Monday.
Speaking at the meeting, Balaka police coordinator for community policing Sub inspector Roster Milanzi said that the country’s constitution respects cultural practices and traditions but it also provides for the right and opportunity to education.
“There is a need for chiefs, parents and guardians to cooperate in ensuring that initiation ceremonies are closed in time in order to allow children to go back to school so that they should positively contribute to the country’s social economic development,” said Milanzi.
Reacting to the call, Group village Headwoman Mpulura said that much as the nation values the rights and freedom citizens must also treasure the crucial role initiation ceremonies play in upbringing children in the area as well the country as a whole, saying Malawian culture is being eroded and degraded.
“The youths have lost track and they no longer possess norms and traditions due to the tendency of copying western cultures,” said chief Mpulura.
She bemoaned lack of responsibility by the youths in exercising their right and freedoms.
Village woman Mpulura further concluded that in her area almost all initiation ceremonies have been closed except for one which is yet to be closed this coming Saturday.
Mpulura is one of the areas in the district where initiations are mostly practiced.
Among other key issues discussed during the meeting were crime prevention, security of people with albinism, and role of community policing forums.