Chiefs against early marriages
By Samuel Kalimira:
Some traditional leaders in Rumphi District have threatened to dismiss local chiefs who allow girls under the age of 18 years to drop out of school and marry.
The chiefs have also threatened to banish parents who condone early marriages, arguing that the development fuels cases of school dropout in the area.
Senior Chief Mwankhunikira and Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwahenga sounded the warning during the celebration of 145 years chieftaincy of Principal Group Village Head Mwang’onga in Rumphi.
Senior Chief Mwankhunikira said, according to by-laws which chiefs in the district endorsed, children, especially girls, are supposed to get married after completing secondary and tertiary education.
“When a village has educated people, it is easy to develop and education starts from primary to tertiary. Therefore, I say no parent should allow a child to get married before the age of 18. If somebody dares to do so, he would be chased from the village and handed over to police,” he said.
T/A Mwahenga said the chiefs would, before enforcing the by-laws, civic educate parents to understand the importance of education.
Meanwhile, Mwang’onga has been singled out as the best village in ensuring that children are continuing with their education.
Principal Group Village Head Mwang’onga said, so far, a school that was established four years ago had sent seven students to secondary schools and one out of the seven learners was selected to a boarding secondary school.
“Being a teacher by profession and chief, I know that education is paramount if the country is to develop. That is the reason we held the cultural festival in line with the goal of promoting education,” he said.
Communities from Mwang’onga commemorated their cultural day under the theme, Promoting Culture to Embrace Education.
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