By PETER MALASHA
WE are concerned about rampant early marriages taking place in communities, an Anglican Church Priest in Mkushi Modesta Kapalangoma has said.
Fiwila Mission Reverend Modesta Kapalangoma said the mission had noted with concern how the issue of early marriages has affecting families and the church.
He said families were the bedrock of the church and that if a girl child and families were destroyed it, would affect the evangelism as well as productivity in the country.
“The issue of early marriages is a very big challenge to the Church because girls are being married off at tenderages.
“This is very worriying especially to the church because families are the bedrock of the church. We are very much saddened, it is a serious problem,” he said.
Rev. Kapalangoma said church was working with traditional and community leadership to curb the vice by sensitising of communities about the ills of early marriages.
Rev. Kapalangoma said community members were being sensitised on the need to promote the importance of educating the girl-child with emphasis on the adage that “educate a girl-child you educating the family”.
He said the law does not allow early marriages and men could be cited for defilement under section 138 of the penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia even if the couple married under customary law.
Customary law, he added, contradicts statutory law and therefore becomes null and void.
Such traditional laws should be outlawed, he stated.
He said government should quickly and seal such loopholes because people were arguing that it was legal to marry off an underage girl as long as it was the marriage was under traditional law.
Rev. Kapalangoma appealed to the community and government to protect girl children as they were at risk because there were people who were looking for sex all over.