Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) has condemned night choir festivals in Chitipa, saying they promote moral decay.
MHRRC programme manager Emma Kaliya made the condemnation on Thursday in Chitipa during a final review meeting of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (Gewe) project implemented in the district.
She said: “Night choir festivals, which have become a common and cherished practice among the youth, have potential to drive them into promiscuity which will completely ruin their future.”
Kaliya warned that if no intervention is taken, efforts to fight early marriages, school dropout, gender-based violence (GBV) and HIV and Aids will be a far-fetched dream.
Chitipa District Interfaith Association chairperson Silence Mtambo said it was a mistake to allow the youth to roam about at night in the name of choir festivals.
Mtambo, who is also archbishop of Ebenezer Evangelical Assemblies of God Mission in Malawi, said night choir festivals are different from night crusades where the youth involved in various activities are under strict surveillance by their parents and church elders who closely monitor and check their movements.
Senior Chief Kameme and Chief Mwenewenya, who also condemned the practice, blamed self-styled church leaders who do not respect chiefs as they call themselves holy.
MHRRC has been implementing a three-year Gewe project in Chitipa District with an objective of promoting the rights of women and the girl child. n