About 400 children from 12 villages in Traditional Authority (T/A) Makanjira in Mangochi District are yet to be released from initiation camps, one week after schools opened.
Mangochi district commissioner (DC) the Reverend Moses Chimphepo and T/A Makanjira have since teamed up to ensure that every ngaliba (traditional counsellor) in the area releases children from the camps.
In an interview, National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust area civic educaiton officer Alex Amidu said villages such as Makonjeni, Mkapula, Makuta, Chilinda, Selemani, Mtiule, Chilawe, Lilombe, Mkomanje, Nantiwose, Lukoloma and Binali are still keeping children at initiation camps.
“We are surprised that chiefs are allowing angalibas to keep the children up to this far. This is contrary to what we agreed as a community in pursuit of quality education,” he said.
“We banned this kind of behaviour sometime back, but I am surprised that it is resurfacing.”
Reacting to the development, Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) executive director Benedicto Kondowe called on initiators to release the children to join their colleagues in schools.
He said: “Why is this happening at a time government is busy enacting laws to regulate the same? Should we say that the chiefs are on holiday or they are on honeymoon that they cannot see this irregular thing happening?
Kondowe, however, commended the DC and chief for the order they have issued to the angalibas and the junior chiefs, but said the matter deserves swiftness. n