Nchelenge District HIV/AIDS Task Force in Luapula (DATF) has slammed the high number of illicit sex cases recorded among pupils during the Provincial High School games held in the District recently.
The Taskforce has also taken a swipe at some teachers who took advantage of the games popularly known as Buffalo to have carnal knowledge of pupils.
The development came to light during a DATF stakeholder’s meeting held at the Nchelenge District Council yesterday.
Presenting a Quarterly report to the meeting, DATF HIV/AIDS Prevention Theme Group Secretary, Jedidiah Mumba said during the games Kashikishi was flooded by both pupils and teachers at night who were in most cases drunk.
Mr. Mumba said several named Guest Houses in Kashikishi were reportedly offering their premises to the pupils and teachers to use for their sexual activities.
He said the demand for places from which to have sex was very high such that some unscrupulous business people even put up makeshift structures using reed mats which they rented out to pupils and some teachers who wanted to indulge in the practice.
Mr. Mumba expressed worry that despite the high number of sexual activities recorded in the four days that the games were held there was no significant increase in the usage of condoms as sales remained low in shops and other condom sales outlets.
And Nchelenge District HIV/AIDS Advisor, Monze Muleya called on the Ministry of Education to put up measures to ensure that School games were not turned into an HIV infection activity.
He appealed to the Luapula Provincial Education Officer, Florence Kanchebele to take disciplinary action against teachers who were found abusing the pupils.
But Nchelenge High School Head teacher, Bernard Chimba defended the organising committee of the games saying all measures were put in place to ensure that pupils did not go out at night.
He said the games attracted a lot of people in Nchelenge District who could have been mistaken for the pupils, adding that some of the girls and prostitutes from the surrounding villages could have masqueraded as pupils.
He however said out of the 24 participating schools there was an additional 1 700 pupils at Nchelenge High School which made the number of pupils too big to easily control.
Mr. Chimba said starting next year the games will be played in zones namely Nchelenge, Kawambwa, Mansa and Samfya.
He said this will greatly reduce the number of participating pupils and will make it easy to contain them.
Mr. Chimba expressed disappointment that some teachers were also involved in abusing the pupils instead of protecting them.
He said there is need for Authorities to take stern action on the teachers and also on the guest house owners who allowed pupils to have sex at their premises.
Mr Chimba said there is need for Authorities to ensure that the issue is sorted out before a team traveled to Kasama in Northern Province for High School National games.