GIRL RETRIEVED FROM MARRIAGE, PARENTS ARRESTED

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GIRL RETRIEVED FROM MARRIAGE, PARENTS ARRESTED

A fourteen year old girl of Mazabuka District has been retrieved from a marriage that was consented by her parents in Chief Mwanachingwala’s Area leading to the arrest of her parents who were picked up from the district administration office, a day after the wedding ceremony.

The girl, a grade eight pupil, was handed over to her eighteen year old man on Sunday at a traditional wedding with hundreds of residents camping at the venue the night before to witness the colourful ceremony with some headmen in attendance.

Further investigations revealed that some named workers at Mukuyu Rural Health Center were convinced to forge the victim’s birth records which indicated that she was seventeen years old instead of fourteen, a record indicated at her former school.

Acting on a whistleblower’s call, Mazabuka District Education Board Secretary, Christeta Mwale, rushed to the area on the same day but failed to retrieve the girl after being greeted by a hostile crowd which waited for the marriage ceremony to start.

The DEBS, who was accompanied by Young Women Christian Association Mazabuka District Focal Point Person, Norah Namakando, bemoaned the fact that the girl was forced to abandon her education for marriage under her parent’s watch.

And speaking following the retrieval and relocation of the girl to a safe house, Namakando observed that it has become concerning that some parents are at the forefront supporting illegal activities which violate children’s rights.

Namakando expressed worry that increasing cases of underage marriages have potential to increase poverty levels in the country considering that the man the girl was to be married to, was not financially stable after he equally abandoned school.

Namakando tells Byta FM News that the girl has since been taken for medical examination at one of the facilities further calling on the Government to reinforce laws that protect children’s rights.

Efforts to get a comment from the Zambia Police on what the two suspects have been charged with proved futile by broadcast time but sources indicate that they were released on bond.

For more details, tune in to Byta FM 90.3/100.3/101.9

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