Child marriages worry First Lady

25 May, 2018 - 00:05 0 Views
Child marriages worry First Lady First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa

The Herald

Elita Chikwati in Kanyemba
First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has expressed concern over rampant child marriage cases among the Doma people in Kanyemba, Mashonaland Central.

The First Lady who is in Kanyemba to engage the community particularly the Doma people, said she was concerned that Mashonaland Central had the highest number of child marriage cases.

“It is painful for a child to bear a child. Children should grow up and mature before getting married. Women should refuse to marry off their daughters. If we marry our children early the problem will always come back to us women. You will nurse your child and grandchild at the same time.

“Every parent should play a role in the upbringing of children. Stop engaging in violence and live a peaceful life. Domestic violence does not solve any issues. Husbands should not abuse their wives. You should work hard and help each other to fend for the children,” she said.

She urged parents to cooperate when raising children in order for them to have a better future.

The First Lady also discouraged domestic violence which she said was also fuelling child marriages as children will be running away from conflicts.

During the engagement, women complained that they were being abused verbally and physically by their husbands.

The women also complained that the husbands were also marrying off their daughters at a tender age and in some cases the marriages did not stay for long.

On the other hand, the men accused women of siding with naughty children while others blamed unemployment and poverty as the cause for domestic violence and child marriages.

The women complained that their husbands were not willing to go for health check ups and others blamed their wives if they tested positive to HIV.

The First Lady urged the community to go for health checks and seek treatment early.

Ms Onesai Misheni of Chirapa Village said she was a grandmother at 36 because she had married at a tender age and her daughter also fell victim to early marriages.

“We have no other activities except to get married. The schools are far away and also we cannot afford school fees as we are supposed to pay $15 for a primary school child and $50 at secondary level per term.

“Most of the girls get married at 13-15 years. They are not educated and can not write or read,” she said.

The First Lady encouraged them to engage in self-help projects and gave them indigenous chickens and stockfeeds.

She also urged them to continue with gardening projects to earn an income and improve livelihoods.

“I also encourage old people to go for adult education to gain knowledge which will help you in your day-to-day life,” she said.

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