Saturday, September 18, 2021

Chief Neromwe bans circumcision, female initiation

                                                 Chief Neromwe
Beatific Gumbwanda
CHIREDZI – Chief Neromwe
has come out strongly against traditional male circumcision and a girls adulthood initiations rites that he said
were not customary to people of his cultural identity.
Traditional male circumcision
rites are performed widely in Chiredzi district but mostly by members of the
Tsonga/Shangane tribal group.
Chief Neromwe, born Clemence
Madzingo, is just but one Shona chief in a district dominated by Tsonga
traditional leaders.
The restoration of the Neromwe
chieftainship last year has caused severe friction with Chief Tshovani, born
Hlaisi Mundau.
The revival of Neromwe saw
Tshovani losing wards 17, 26, 27 and 28, leaving him presiding over wards 20,
22 and 32.
The four resettlement wards which
were awarded to Neromwe were under Tshovani and were subjected to Tsonga
cultural practices of hook (male circumcision) and komba (female initiation
into adulthood).
Both cultural practices are
practiced in the mountains under the cover of many taboos and superstitions
that prevent external scrutiny.
Many people in the wards that
were awarded to Neromwe felt the practices were alien to them and Neromwe now
seems to have acted in response to their apprehension.
Speaking to TellZim News soon
after obtaining a court order which bars Chief Tshovani from getting into his
territory and interfering with his subjects, Chief Neromwe said the two
cultural practices were now a banned tradition in areas under his jurisdiction.
“It was never our tradition. We
will no longer allow any of that to take place in our community as it has been
happening before,” said Neromwe.
Government and foreign donors are
implementing medical male circumcision across the country, and they have in
some parts of Chiredzi partnered local communities to improve traditional
circumcision practices.

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