Chipepo vows to eliminate child marriage 

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 10:43:55 +0000

 

By SIMON MUNTEMBA

CHIEF Chipepo of the Tonga people of Southern Province has vowed to eliminate child marriages by chasing away perpetrators from his area and reporting them to the police.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Nation, Chief Chipepo said it was worrying to note that child marriages have continued in the country despite several measures by Government and its partners to end the practice.

“In order to bring the increased cases of early and forced marriages in my area, any person found acting to the contrary will be chased from here and probably reported to the police and will ensure that the courts of law punish the perpetrator,” the chief warned.

He said that in order to achieve this, he has established committees in all schools and villages which will validate and spearhead the programme.

He added that from now onwards, any person who wants to marry or get married should present enough evidence of their age like a birth certificate to show that they were above the age of 20.

Chief Chipepo explained that headmen will no longer be in charge of validating marriages as the committee will sit and advise on the issues presented to them.

He warned that any of his headmen found encouraging the practice will be stripped of their title or chased away from his chiefdom.

He charged that child marriages contribute to high maternal mortality, increased poverty levels and perpetual inequality.

“Girls who are married off at an early stage are prevented from realising their potential as well as achieving their dreams which contributes to increased levels of poverty,” the chief said.

 

 

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