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Chief Chikupili intensifies fight against early marriage in Luano

Early marriage child mother.

CHIEF Chikupili of the Swaka-speaking people of Luano district in Central Province has intensified the fight against early marriages in his chiefdom.
Speaking in an interview recently in Mkushi, the traditional leader stressed that he will not condone early marriages and he will allow the law to prevail because the vice is detrimental to the well-being of victims and retards development.
“What we are encouraging is for girls to go to school and not to be married off at a tender age “In my chiefdom, I am working hard to ensure that we don’t have early marriages,” Chief Chikupili said.
He said girls like boys should be encouraged to prioritise education for them to secure their future and that he will not protect his subjects involved in early marriages because they are breaking the law.
“The messengers are on the ground to check on cases of early marriages and in turn they report to me. If it’s proved that there is a case of early marriage, we report to the police,” Chief Chikupili said.
Meanwhile, Chief Chikupili says he supports the proposal to revise the age for from 18 to 19 in the Bill of Rights in the new Republican Constitution.
Chief Chikupili said times have changed; the age 19 would be good because girls should be strong when they are getting married.
“When you marry off girls at a tender age, they have difficulties during childbirth because their bodies are not strong,” he said.
Chief Chikupili said Zambians should support progressive laws such as the revising the marriage age.
He said customary law should also be in line with the republican Constitution so that people are protected from vices that are detrimental.
The Bill of Rights proposes that a person who is 19 years of age or older has the right to choose a spouse of the opposite sex and marry.
The proposal in the bill is a departure from the 18 years threshold prescribed as the official minimum marriage age in the current Constitution

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