Mbale, Uganda | URN | Inzu Ya Masaba, the Bamasaba cultural Institution has limited this year’s circumcision (Imbalu) season, and stopped the grand launch.
A stakeholder’s meeting held on Tuesday at the institution’s headquarters in Mbale City discussed possible measures that will be followed for Imbalu ceremonies to proceed without contravening the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set by Ministry of Health.
Francis Nagimesi, the Prime Minister Inzu Ya Masaba, says there will be no grand launch of the circumcision season as it has been in the past years. He asked the Bamasaba to consider the recent purported launch of the circumcision calendar at Mutoto cultural grounds by some individuals illegal.
Nagimesi said the circumcision season will not go beyond October as it has been in the past years where the season would go on until December 31st. Anyone who goes beyond October risks being arrested and charged.
Nagimesi also revealed that the cultural institution has agreed to restrict the circumcision ceremonies to between 7:00am and 04:00pm. The Mbale Resident District Commissioner, Sulaiman Ogajjo Barasa, says the issues agreed upon by the cultural institution should be followed by the people intending to hold circumcision ceremonies to avoid conflicting with the law.
The meeting was attended by clan heads, traditional circumcision surgeons, regional security heads led by the Elgon Police Commander, Mbale Resident Commissioner, Inzu Ya Masaba officials led by the Umukuka and the Commissioner Emergency Services in the Health Ministry among others. These include among others scrapping Kadodi processions (the preparatory circumcision dance), brewing local brew, smearing of candidates with mud and visiting relatives.
The leaders also agreed that only ten people wearing face masks will be allowed at the circumcision venue and that the parents of the candidates will be required to provide hand sanitizers for all participants including surgeons before conducting the circumcision.
The meeting also banned the visitation of candidates to their relative’s home as the case has been. Candidates often visit the homes of their relatives for gifts and counseling before their circumcision day.
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Nagimesi explained that the guidelines are not meant to interfere with the activities of the cultural institution but rather to protect Ugandans from contracting COVID-19. John Baptist Woniaye Nambohe, the Commissioner for Emergency Services in Health Ministry has welcomed the guidelines issued by the cultural institution, saying they are line with the recommended SOPs issued by the Ministry.
He says the Bamasaba ought to adjust and work within the SOPs since the issue at hand is about life and death.
Isa Shimiyu, the Chairperson of Local Surgeons in Mbale District also welcomed the guidelines, saying they will help them to do their work diligently without pressure from the big crowds.
The clan heads who attended the meeting pledged to deliver the message to their members for implementation.