Chitipa — Law enforcers in Chitipa have expressed shock over increased cases of child abuse in the district, with other children trafficked to the neighboring countries for personal benefits.
Speaking during commemoration of Day of African Child in the area of Senior Chief Kameme on Monday, first grade magistrate, Billy Ngosi said majority of children in Chitipa are trafficked to Tanzania and Zambia for child labour and early marriages.
Ngosi said child abuse cases were increasing at an alarming rate in the district as they comprised fifty percent of cases presided over in Chitipa Magistrate Courts.
"In most cases parents and other guardians are the culprits, and as stakeholders we have managed to bring some of them to book. Others are serving sentences, however, the malpractice continues.
"Previously we thought that child trafficking, child labour and early marriages were common in some few areas of the district.
"But after conducting a survey, it appeared that the malpractice is done across all the borderlines in Kameme, Misuku and Nthalire," said Ngosi.
The event was commemorated under the theme: 'Humanitarian action in Africa: children rights first'.
Learners from different schools delivered ant-child abuse messages through drama, poems and choirs.
In her remarks, vice chairperson for Chitipa District Council, Mercy Mpoha called for stakeholders to priotize investing in children through education.
Mpoha said communities needed sensitization on mindset change to minimize cases of child abuse in the district.
Guests at the event included Senior chief Kameme and T/A Mwenemisuku, business community and non-governmental organizations.