Chiefs in Mangochi say their subjects will not hold initiation camps this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This came to light on Tuesday during Covid-19 meeting organised by National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust with chiefs, religious and, business leaders and the media.
In an interview, Senior Chief Chowe said there was need to observe precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the global pandemic.
He said: “We know that the pandemic has no cure up to now. It only has preventive measures and one of them is observing social distancing.
“So, as chiefs, we are suspending initiation camps this year.”
The chief advised the angalibas (initiation rites leaders) and others who take charge during initiation ceremonies to heed the message.
Said Chowe: “We deal with anyone who will defy the order. Suspending the initiation camps amid the pandemic is not strange.
“Our forefathers did the same when there were diseases such as Nthomba (small pox). Now we need to do the same.”
In his remarks, Nice Mangochi civic education officer Turner Banda encouraged the chiefs and the other participants to implement activities that promote Covid-19 preventive measures.
“We engaged you because we know you are influential in your communities,” he said.
However, Daudi Hussein from Traditional Authority Bwananyambi said he was not pleased with the directive.
“I already planned for my eight-year-old son to be initiated this year,” he said.
The district has registered 133 Covid-19 cases with one death.