NDANGWA MWITTAH, Choma
CHIEF Chikanta of the Tonga speaking people in Kalomo district has called on girls in his chiefdom to concentrate on their education as opposed to
rushing into marriage.
The traditional leader has also reminded parents that it was their duty to ensure that their children are taken to school and not married off at a younger age.
Speaking in an interview recently, Chief Chikanta said no parent should consent to such a marriage.
“It is the duty of every parent to ensure that their children are educated. In fact, what should be happening is that as parents, we must be teaching and encouraging both girls and boys on the importance of education. Then after that, that’s when they can start thinking of marriage,” he said.
He said with the current economic hardships in the country, an uneducated person will find it hard to cope.
“Times are getting hard, even the economy is not favourable to uneducated people. This is now time to start thinking of getting a better education before anything else,” he said.
Chief Chikanta said all early and not consented to marriages in his chiefdom are annulled.
“Sometimes, our young girls put themselves in situations where they just elope with a man. That’s not how it should be. We dissolve such marriages and these girls are taken back to school,” he said.
He said the royal council has also been tasked to sensitise communities through village headmen on vices such as early marriages as well as cultivation of psychotropic crops such as marijuana.