EASTERN Province AIDS coordinating advisor Emmanuel Chama says Chipata has insufficient condoms for non-health facilities and urged those attending the Nc’wala traditional ceremony to have enough condoms.
In an interview ahead of the Nc’wala ceremony scheduled for this weekend, Chama urged people to be cautious during the annual event.
“I think our preparedness in terms of health facilities, we can ably say we have sufficient condoms for health facilities but for non-health facilities in the district, we still have a huge shortfall of the condoms. I am happy that you are able to come so that you can advise all those who are coming to the ceremony; defence is the best prevention. If anyone who is coming to the Nc’wala can help to supplement our effort, by this we are saying please ensure you get enough condoms as you come for the ceremony,”
He said Chipata needed a minimum of 7,200 condoms every three months.
Chama urged people to be mindful that life was precious, saying the youth especially should do their part to maintain their moral integrity.
“We need to do everything that is possible to safeguard [life]. For us from the Catholic background, the best protection is abstinence because we do believe that decisions are made with our minds, our hearts and that’s the most important organs where decisions whether to have any relationships or not are made. And that power cannot be replaced even by our having condoms because our moral principle is that we are supposed to be temples of the Holy Spirit,”
The 2018 Nc’wala ceremony commenced yesterday afternoon with Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s movement from Ephendukeni palace to Laweni dormitory in Mtenguleni. Mpezeni’s procession, which often brings Chipata to a standstill, is always characterised by a number of activities with the Ngonis’ tribal cousins, the Bemba, always blocking the road and only moving out after they are paid.
Mpezeni will be at Laweni until the day of the ceremony. And a check revealed that some lodges have increased accommodation fees by up to K100.
Many people decided to book in advance to avoid being inconvenienced at the last minute. Hotel and Catering Association of Zambia Eastern Province chairperson Elvis Mhone said his office had received concerns from members of the public over the hike in accommodation cost by lodge owners.
“Of course, certain names have been cited and I have actually communicated with them, although some people take foreign concepts of trade where certain activities are taking place, they hike the rates. We have communicated to our members never to hike the rates because we want accommodation and meals to be as affordable as possible,” said Mhone.