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Chieftainess gets tough on child marriages

HENRY SINYANGWE, Kasama
SENIOR Chieftainess Chungu of the Bemba people of Luwingu district says there is need for all chiefs to be involved in the fight against child marriages and ensure young girls are in school.
In an interview, the traditional leader said it is saddening that some parents marry off their children at a tender age at the expense of education.
“I have ensured that no girl is married off at a tender age in my chiefdom. It is saddening that some parents marry off their children when they are still young,” she said.
Chieftainess Chungu said she punishes parents that marry off their children and ensures that the children are taken back to school.
“I get those children that stop school and take them back to school because I understand the importance of education. I make sure that the parents that marry off their children at a tender age are punished,” she said.
The traditional leader also observed that some parents also opt to marry off their children because of financial constraints.
“I ensure that those parents that accept dowry pay back the money and take their children back to school,” she said.
Chieftainess Chungu also expressed concern that some girls fail to deliver because they conceive at a tender age, which a threat to their lives.
“It is sad that some girls die during delivery and this is an issue that can easily be avoided by ensuring that our girls are married off at the right age,” she said.
She called on Government to ensure that it enforces the laws against early marriages, especially in rural areas.
“Law enforcers should ensure that they take action and bring to book people that perpetrate early marriages,” Cheiftainess Chungu said.

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