Sub Traditional Authority Mchinguza of Machinga District has banned conducting of cultural ceremonies in his area until next year to avoid wastage of farm produce.
The traditional leader said he has decided to issue the ban after observing that hunger is already affecting many people in his area because they did not harvest enough maize and rice due to floods that washed away crops in fields this year.
“I informed all village heads in my area of the ban at a meeting which was held Thursday. “Those who will not comply with the order will be ordered to pay fines,” warned the chief.
According to the chief, adulthood initiation ceremonies which keep young boys in camps for almost a month require a lot of food for the camping teams as well as celebration parties at the end.
While admitting that the ban would have a negative impact on cultural beliefs, the traditional leader said these challenges would have to be faced only this year for good reasons.
Sub traditional authority Mchinguza disclosed that most of his subjects are already struggling to buy maize because large parts of his area do not have government markets.
“A 50 kilogram bag of maize is now selling at MK 10, 000.00 which is already too expensive,” he said, adding that maize is now only being found in neighboring Mozambique.
The chief asked government to open a depot of the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) in his area and increase maize supply at Namanja Admarc depot.
Machinga district assistant disaster risk management officer Shepherd Jere has commended the chief for taking strong measures to ensure that his subjects are taking care of the little harvest they have.