SHIKANDA KAWANGA, Livingstone
GOVERNMENT has urged parents to stop sending their children to sell things on roads as this exposes them to street life, which can be detrimental to their development.
Acting Livingstone district commissioner James Zimba says it is sad that most of the children begging from the streets and central business district of Livingstone have parents.
“As Government, we discourage the trend of sending kids to sell things around the central business district because this leads to some of them to start begging,” he said.
Mr Zimba said this here on Monday when Godfrey Kids Centre and Initiatives founder and child rights activist Godfrey Simukonde paid a courtesy call on him at his office.
He said children should be restricted to school and other safe environments as opposed to letting them move around aimlessly.
Mr Zimba said Government is supporting children through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services so that they do not go to the streets.
He said it is unfortunate that some irresponsible parents are encouraging children, especially girls, to sell goods on the streets.
Mr Zimba said the district administration will continue engaging parents on how best to address issues affecting children.
“Livingstone is a city which has no street kids who spend nights in the cold, but this situation can only be maintained and improved if parents stop sending their children to the streets,” he said.
Mr Zimba said Government has special programmes for supporting parents to take children to school after they drop out.
“Much as we encourage parents to take children to school, some children still find themselves on the streets,” he said.
And Mr Simukonde said it is gratifying that President Lungu’s administration has continued to demonstrate “a lot of political will” in addressing the plight of children in the country.
He said there is need for various stakeholders to get involved in addressing issues that negatively affect the development of children who are future leaders.