LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
SECOND Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mwimbu Malama says views of children should be taken seriously by stakeholders because the children could bring about the desired change.
Mr Malama was speaking at Parliament during the commemoration of the World Children’s Day which fell on November 20 which saw children having an interactive meeting with committee members from the Parliamentary Caucus on Children (PCC).
Mr Malama said children should be given effective platforms for their voices to be heard.
“As Members of Parliament, we need to spend more time interacting with children. I therefore urge members of the PCC to take advantage and hear the children’s challenges, fears, aspirations and successes,’’ he said.
Mr Malama said this year’s Children’s Day is being celebrated under the theme “Children for Children by Children’’.
Speaking earlier, Clerk of the National Assembly Cecilia Mbewe said the National Assembly is in the process of establishing parliamentary clubs in schools.
Mrs Mbewe said the National Assembly is also in the process of publishing a booklet with cartoons for children.
“National Assembly is committed to encouraging young people at all levels to be involved in national issues,’’ she said.
And PCC acting chairperson Jean Kapata said stakeholders and parliamentarians should combine efforts to protect and uphold the rights of children.
Meanwhile UNICEF country representative Noala Skinner said World Children’s Day is a day to listen to children.
“What is taking place in the National Assembly of Zambia will be paralleled on every continent, as children stand in solidarity with the voiceless, vulnerable and marginalised to speak out,’’ she said.
Ms Skinner said by 2030, Zambia will have 12 million children who are a huge opportunity for the future.
She said children should be given an opportunity to enjoy their childhood for them to become responsible adults.