By ANDREW MUKOMA
TRADITIONAL leaders in the country should join Government in upscaling the fight against child marriages, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Lawrence Sichalwe has said.
Mr Sichalwe said that citizens should be made aware that child marriage was a violation of children’s rights.
He said traditional leaders must stop negative traditional practices such as child marriage which was contributing to maternal death in the country.
The Minister was speaking when he graced this year’s Lwiindi traditional ceremony of the Toka Leya people of Sekute Chiefdom in Kazungula District held in Mambova at the weekend.
Mr Sichalwe lamented that the fight against child marriages, especially for the girl child was not getting enough support from the citizens.
He noted that this social vice continued to rob thousands of girls in Zambia of their childhood rights and development.
“It is important that people develop positive behavioural change that will look at a girl child as a child and not a bride or a financial asset. I urge you all to continue promoting girl education due to its social economic benefits
“Educating girls broadens their choices and opportunities, and enables them to make informed decisions about their lives, thereby breaking the vicious cycle of poverty,” he notes.
The minister noted that there was also need that sensitisation in chiefdoms continues on the dangers of gender based violence.
At the same function, Chief Sekute complained that his area did not have safe and clean drinking water and called on Government to quickly address the matter.
In response, the Minister said that Government, through the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) project, has sunk three solar powered boreholes in Kachabula area and two others in Nawalizazi.