MBABANE: Themba Masuku, the Acting Prime Minister has banned ‘kufukama’ as a preventive measure to curb the spread of COVID 19.
Addressing the Nation on Friday at the Cabinet offices in Mbabane , Masuku said the culture that has been practised for ages was one of the super spreaders of the virus .
‘Kufukama’ is a custom whereby relatives (women) of a deceased person guard the body for a whole night before burial, this is regarded as a support system for the bereaved family.
“The custom of ‘kufukama’ is strongly discouraged as research from epidemiologists provides that they are among the super spreaders of the virus.We completely understand that this is an important support system for the bereaved but we plead with Emaswati to stop ‘kufukama’ with immediate effect to avoid causing more deaths”, he said.
When reached for comments, traditionalist Elliot Mkhatjwa , the Chairman of the Swaziland Democratic Party (SWADEPA) said this was unacceptable.
“This is unacceptable, government is taking the Nation for granted, they are now treating us like animals.This support system has been there for ages, it can’t be abruptly stopped without consulting with traditional authorities in the various communities across the country. They should have at least reduced the number of people that should participate in this custom. The Acting Prime Minister should instead apologise to the Nation for hosting the Incwala ceremony which was definitely the major super spreader of the virus, we wouldn’t be here if they had suspended the Incwala ceremony”, said the Traditionalist.
Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku