from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIAN police have tightened security to ensure a memorable experience for citizens and tourists taking part in the Nc’wala ceremony.
This ceremony, which gives thanks for the first harvests of the season, is among the most important ceremonies of the Ngoni people of the Eastern Province and is a tourist drawcard.
The main festivities are on Saturday at Mtenguleni Royal Village in Chipata district.
“We have put up adequate security measures aimed at creating a safe and secure environment for all to enjoy the ceremony,” Lemmy Kajoba, Inspector General of Police, assured.
He said there will be an adequate police presence at the annual ceremony.
A static police operational post has also been established at the venue in Mtenguleni for people to have easy access to officers whenever need arises during the ceremony.
“Members of the public should be aware that it is at such ceremonies and gatherings where criminals take advantage to fulfill their intentions,” Kajoba reminded.
“Therefore, those attending the ceremony should take safety precautions by securing all their valuables and avoid the abuse of alcohol and other substances,” the police chief added.
Traffic is forecast to be heavy particularly on Saturday, hence motorists travelling to Chipata for the Nc’wala are advised to plan for the trip well in advance and make sure their vehicles are roadworthy and with valid statutory requirements.
“Acts and omissions such as driving under the influence of alcohol will not be tolerated as our Traffic Police officers will be deployed to ensure sanity on the public roads,” Kajoba cautioned.
The festival of the first fruit is synonymous with Southern Africa.
The Ngoni, which are estimated to constitute 4 percent of Zambia’s population 19,6 million people.
Ngonis trace their origins to the Ngini and Zulu people of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
– CAJ News