9 July 2018

Malawi: Sex Offence, Child Marriages Rise in Mchinji - Malawi Border District With Zambia

Mchinji Social Welfare Officer, Rodwell Chunga, says the central region border district with Zambia continues to grapple with child abuse issues as his office is registering two cases every week involving defilement and child marriages.

Chunga said the cases are not reducing in the district despite several interventions being taken to address the same.

He said this over the weekend during commemorations for the Day of the African Child in the district.

"As a district we have high percentage of young boys and girls who are getting into marriages," he said.

Chunga said this is a worrisome development noting that these cases are happening when guardians and chiefs are watching.

He added that his office has put an extra gear by engaging the police and judiciary on the need to impose stiffer punishment to culprits.

Responding to the concerns, Traditional Authority Mlonyeni, whose area also registers high cases of defilement and child marriages admitted the existence of the challenges saying he would soon call for an emergency meeting with his chiefs on the need to formulate by-laws to safeguard the same.

He warned that he would fire any chief who will tolerate Gulewankulu to disturb leaners in various primary schools observing that the tendency is also fuelling school dropout among children.

The Day of African Child was set aside to remember hundreds of children who were killed in South Africa by South African Army when they took to the streets in demand for their right to education in 1976.

This year's Day of the African Child was commemorated under the theme 'Leave no child behind in Malawi's development; A better Malawi is possible if we leave no child behind'.


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