Victoria Kalima
Victoria Kalima

Government will revise the marriage Act that will describe a child as any person under the age of 21.

Minister of Gender Victoria Kalima says the law will have to be harmonised to make it effective in the fight against vices such as early marriages and defilement.

Ms Kalima says at the moment, the law describes a child as anyone under the age of 16 while any person can marry at the age of 18.

She says the Marriage Bill is before the ministry of justice and will soon be presented to Parliament.

Ms Kalima says once the bill is passed, it will be illegal for anyone to marry or have canal carnal knowledge of a person under the age of 21.

The Minister was speaking when she called on Chief Mushoro during the presentation of bicycles for the stop early marriages campaign in Chipata.

Ms Kalima said the bicycles will be used in disseminating information on the dangers of early marriages.

And Chief Mushoro said the bicycles will be handy in disseminating information in his chiefdom.

He said it has been difficult to spread information on GBV because of lack of equipment.

And Women for Change Executive Director Lumba Siyanga says Eastern Province is one of the worst affected by early marriages and defilement cases in the country.

Ms Siyanga however said it is encouraging that more people are now coming out in the open to report such cases.

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87 COMMENTS

    • This is long overdue. BBBRRRAVVVOOOO !

      But it must be coupled with aggressive educational effort for the girl child and stiff punishment for those men violating the same.

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    • PF ati 21 years ati juvenile, this is the reason why 35 years old pf cader kudos aka ndanje khakis is still suckling on his mama’s tities.

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    • Hon Victoria Kalina, are you telling me that even voting age is going to be adjusted from 18 to 21? Why are you Easterners confusing this country? Your brother Richard Sakala says the police are not carrying out proper investifactions in cases committed by offenders and that is the reason government is loosing ALOT of cases in courts lately, similarly, have you made proper research on this issue. Is it only marrying under-age girls you want to solve or you have looked at other implications on this matter? How about in cases of boys? How do you reconcile this?

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    • Hon Victoria Kalina, are you telling me that even voting age is going to be adjusted from 18 to 21? Why are you Easterners confusing this country? Your brother Richard Sakala says the police are not carrying out proper investifactions in cases committed by offenders and that is the reason government is loosing ALOT of cases in courts lately, similarly, have you made proper research on this issue. Is it only marrying under-age girls you want to solve or you have looked at other implications on this matter? How about in cases of boys? How do you reconcile this? The problem is that you do not understand what Gender is all about, you think gender issues are only for females. Saaa…d Mama.

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    • This is another sil.ly expedition by P.F., a waste of time and resources. The laws even in the current state are adequate to deal with child marriage and other se.x offenses. The main reasons why cases might be on the rise are simply enforcement and enough education. In civilized societies s.ex offenders are punished severely and included on the se.x offenders register.

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    • The universal classification of a minor is anyone below 18 years. This government is just chipantepante. What next? The root cause of early marriages is lack of opportunities and poverty for the girl child. This is what the government should focus on to end these early marriages. I know of many women who got engaged below the age of 21 years but went on to complete their education and got married successfully. Forcing people to do things will never work as long as the environment remains unfavourable. Create opportunities for people to thrive and many of these social evils will be conquered.

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    • If this came earlier than May this year, our under 20 squad would not have been allowed to compete in the two tournaments by CAF and FIFA …

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    • There is a very big vacuum of intelligence in Zambia. The shortages in UNIP days starved our brains too. We are not just physically stunted but we are also intellectually deficient. How can raising the pass marjk in an exam reduce the failure rate? In many countries in the world, 20-year-olds are adults who have even got a diploma. Some get degrees before turning 21. Are you going to arrest Tourists who come to Zambia and are 19 years old with their boyfriends who are 20?
      Puleeeze!!!

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    • @Mulena you are so right about lack of enforcement on sex crimes. Recently a male nurse who drugged and raped a patient was sentenced to only 15 years! How do you pass the message that this is an abhorrent crime if you exercise such misplaced leniency in your punitive measures?

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    • Poverty alleviating programs are the ones that will reduce early marriages. It doesn’t matter what age you raise it to.

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    • @ The Saint, it can’t be any better than what you surmise! People jostle for legislative office clueless of what it entails and once elected behave like a headless chicken as if Zambia has no serious issues to address for betterment of society! A recent report on VOA was questioning why African presidents rush abroad for medical attention untrusting of their medical facilities yet instead of addressing such as poor health services government sees it prudent to discuss capping age for marriage! Why not discuss raising minimum qualifications from Grade 12 to Post graduate diploma or equivalent for one to seek legislative office as Zambia has more degree holders than intelligence and wisdom? Visionless indeed!

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    • Bwana minister as much as we all agree with stopping child marriage. We don’t agree with he new 21 yrs nosense. Life in the ghetto is real. At the age of 21 most boys are taking good care of the famailies. Its nif like your kids who are still babies at 40 but managing to sniff cocaine in US in the name of being at the university. If you say you want to increase the marrying age to 21 so that you can be considered potential candidate for marriage we are going to understand. Let’s promote responsible citizens and not fi Bana mayadi Ms Kalima.

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    • Peter @ 2#

      I totally agree with you. !!!

      The term CHILD is misleading. A person of that age is normally described as Teenage or Adolescent Age. That depends in a country.

      1. Baby is from 0 to 3 years
      2. Child is from 3 years -14 years
      3. Teenager/Adolescent is from 15 years to 19 years years

      ( The above varies from nation to nation …..)

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    • I TOTALLY AGREED WITH COMPULSORY HIV TEST TO ALL ZAMBIANS AND THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE CONCENTRATED ALL EFFORTS TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL ZAMBIANS WERE TESTED FOR HIV WITHIN A SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME. I THINK BEING 21 YEARS AND STILL A CHILD IS HIGHLY AMBITIOUS ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT. THINGS SUCH AS UNIVERSITY STUDENT LOANS SHOULD HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED FIRST. BECAUSE THIS WILL MAKE ALMOST EVERY ONE WHO WANTS TO GO TO UNI GO TO UNI. ULTIMATELY, THIS CANSOLVE ALL THESE EARLY MARRIAGES. IT IS LACK OF PREOCCUPATION THAT BREEDS DISCONTED TO LIFE AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE AND, “A DULL MIND IS A DEVIL’S WORKSHOP”. THIS APPLIES BOTH TO MALE AND FEMALE YOUNG AND ACTIVE PEOPLE. ACHIEVE THE ERADICATION OF WHAT BREEDS DULL MOMENTS IN LIFE FIRST AND YOU MAY FIND THAT THE UPPING OF AGE OF CONSENT IS…

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    • …ACHIEVE THE ERADICATION OF WHAT BREEDS DULL MOMENTS IN LIFE FIRST AND YOU MAY FIND THAT THE UPPING OF AGE OF CONSENT IS VERY UNNECESSARY. SHOULD THE 21 YEARS LAW BE IMPLEMENTED, ZAMBIA IS BOUND TO SEE AN ABNORMAL UPSWING OF BABIES WITHOUT FATHERS AND DUE TO FEAR OF LEGAL ACTION ON FEMALE 21 YEAR OLD CHILDREN MANY BABIES WILL END UP IN PIT LATRINES OR LAKE AND RIVERS.

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    • They just want to have a nation of bastards because people will be having children in unmarried relationships. At 21 people already know what their body is telling them.

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    • Thankfully, even an id.iot like Peter has seen how fo.olish his PF ministers are. Lungu is stone brain dead.

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  1. The government should do more to fund Skills-Training for teenagers, by working in partnership with the private sector, to avoid early marriages that are failing on daily basis due to in-maturities.

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  2. it will be illegal to have canal knowledge of any one under 21. That’s a new way of describing it

    maybe carnal knowledge is the right term but in the end am sure it works out the same

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  3. Its a good move but that means the State should also revise the juvenile Act and its definition of the age of a juvenile from below 18 to below 21. Those that commit offences below up the age of 21 must therefore now be considered juveniles. Equity and equality is what the Law is meant to provide.

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  4. What if its by mutual consent by two under age 21 persons? Sometimes these laws are just bogus and not well thought out.

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  5. This will be against the girls more than it could be for the Men. Most people in Zambia want their Children married by that age. wrong move. We have single law makers who are blaming lack of marriage on younger girls.

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    • A man need to grow with his wife. A grown woman having tested too many men will never make a good wife. Women married young mostly stay faithful. A woman who has experienced variety will always want more. Divorce rate will be higher. The statement sounds good but the consequences are not good in the long ran. I expect women to oppose this motion.

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    • I expect mother to oppose this motion. In rural areas girls do drop out of school and the reality is that she needs to get married. That is the reality. options for a choice should be allowed in this Country instead of criminalizing everything of basic rights.

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  6. That’s the problem with human beings once they stop functioning they start to advocate for others to stop being active please concentrate on eradicating the causes of early marriages and please publish the entire law so that we can see if most of the contentious issues has been covered such as when two under twenty ones have consented to get married.

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  7. This is rubish for God’s sake. It’s laughable indeed. So this woman just wakes up and then goes on to act on her emotions. Sorry madam minister this will be descriminatory to the very girls you want to protect.

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  8. A progressive move bravo to the government. Has research been done to identify the root cause and it’s always better to address/handle the problem that way. What happens to a 14 year old girl grade 7 drop out in the remote places without any other means of advancing her life. Make education compulsory to the rural dwellers through community development ministry.

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  9. Our parents used to get married at the ages of 18 ,19 0r 20 and looked after their marriages very well. Not in these days where a woman gets married at 30 or more and does not even know how to safeguard her marriage. A lot of girls at the ages of 18,19 or 20 can look after a home well.

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  10. This is a joke, by age 18 , 19 most humans are adults and should be treated as such.

    Look at the PF rats above clapping and dancing hoping to still loot the youth empowerment fund more ………

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  11. This will not only heighten anti socialisation bt will also be highly untraditional. will create more emotional illnesses

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  12. She should tell us if AGE is factor …..look at the causes of divorce regionally ..

    1. cruelty between spouses = EASTERN
    2. ill-treatment, adultery and conjugal rights disputes = WESTERN
    3. Lack of proper marriage counselling, interference from friends and family members as well as poor communication among couples.= LUSAKA
    4. included adultery and desertion = COPPERBELT
    5. extra -marital affairs = SOUTHERN
    6. love for money and material things = NORTHERN
    7. mistrust and poverty = NORTH WESTERN
    8. over-expectation from spouses = LUAPULA
    9. fear of contracting HIV from spouses = CENTRAL PROVINCE
    10. marital disputes = MUCHINGA

    Research indicates that divorced adults are more likely to become impoverished while their children experience psychological and economic stress which…

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  13. my contribution is 1. Lte Government implement MANDATORY HIV testing , counseling, and Treatment Starting with the Minister of Gender Herself Victoria Kalima,…2. The legal age for marriage is 18yrs girl and boy 21. 3. Anyone who sees a ntwenokani for a girl below16yrs consider it as a case of kuchindaaaa ka mfana 4. IF a mans instruments weigh less than 700g that is the stick and two golf balls then such a man be blacklisted for sex

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  14. Of course it may be a good law to prohibit marriage at the age of 21 and below. But then a better reason may have to be given other than that one is a child. We would also want to know what punishment will be meted out on persons marrying before that age to find out if it will act as a deterrent.

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  15. Soon to tabled in Cabinet or Parliament ? My God, People lets be serious as Zambians. This minister attended Lwitikila in Mpika. She definitely even now clearly sees that we are not dealing with a simple issue.
    Girls as young as 13 are coming of age these days, and certain changes in body and mind overcome what ever they are being told about abstention from sex. Mama Kalima what super natural power are you going to use to hold them back.
    Please be serious and read Ms Kalima. In other countries they are even considering lowering the age of consent because maturity is happening much sooner. I am not even talking about the men and parents who have such overwhelming power over girls, especially in rural areas.
    If you cannot just pause and look around at what causes early sex, you are not…

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    • THE CASE OF THIS Ms KALIMA IS ABSOLUTE IGNORANCE AND PERHAPS SHE HASN’T BEEN CONTRIBUTING EFFECTIVELY AS A MINISTER AND NOW SHE WANTS TO BE SEEN TO BE DOING SOMETHING. SHE PRESENTS HERSELF AS A MINISTER WHO DOESN’T EVEN READ, LET ALONE RESEARCH. THE CONSENT OF AGE IN ONE EUROPEAN COUNTRY I WILL NOT NAME TO LET KALIMA DO SOME READING IS 14. I AM NOT SAYING ZAMBIA SHOULD SCALE DOWN TO 14. WHEN A TEACHER COMMITED CANAL KNOWLEDGE WITH A 14 YEAR OLD GIRL THAT’S WHERE THEY RAN TO AND THEY COULD NOT BE EXTRADITED BY THE THE GOVERNMENT AS IT WAS PERFECTLY OK IN THAT COUNTRY. NOW, I REPEAT THIS MAY NOT BE OK FOR ZAMBIA, BUT LET’S BE REALISTIC WITH INTENDED LAW BEFORE IT IS IMPLEMENTED.

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  16. At 21 most of today’s young adults are done with tertiary education and you want to consider them children? 18 yrs is more reasonable!

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  17. Madam Kalima, how many young people will you denying voting rights if you raise young person age?

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  18. I simple case of misplaced priorities. The law as it stands now is good enough and needs not be changed. Human sexual hormones start kicking off much much earlier than that.

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  19. Ba Mayo Bana Kalima: Matontonkanyo ayasuma aya kusungilamo abana besu nomba abana bene ebashumfwa: Please even those Boys and Girls being found drinking beer at the age of below 21 years the law should catch them once passed: To day you find many of these so called juveniles both boys and girls below 16 years drinking freely in Bars , Bottle stores and even guest houses and Hotels ninshi bali nefikote ifyaume driving Prado, Utezha, BMW.

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  20. This proposed Law is illegal because it is contravening the International Law. International Law sets Age of majority at which age one assumes rights of sexual consent, marriageable age, school leaving age, drinking age, driving age, voting age, smoking age, owning shares, property, etc. Is the Hon. Minister telling us that all these activities should shift from 16, 18 years to 21 years. Like girls who is going to agree to miss chances of her life time even when one has already completed Grade 12 at 16 years? Are we only thinking in terms of early marriages whose solution is to ban paying of lobola (dowry) for women. We are now living in a global village and Laws for Zambia can’t be different from other countries even within SADC because citizens need harmonised Laws across regions.

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  21. In light of the ill advised intention, no one under 21 should possess an NRC, be in full-time employment, vote in elections or do adult things.

    This is a wasteful exercise. Just focus on developing the economy of the country. The law is okay that says those adults under 21 years old should obtain parental permission while those who are 21 and older do not need to do so necessarily.

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  22. This is a good move by the government however, the age minimum need to be dropped to 19 years because a 21 years old being is old enough to reason independently. what the government should do instead is to put a minimum qualification i.e. to get into marriage minimum qualification grade 12 certificate, age 19.

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    • A very bad and senseless piece of legislation. You wonder whether our so called legislators think holistically.What is the basis for pegging the marrying age at 21.

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  23. A child is enrolled at primary school at the age of 7years.Completes his or her primary education at the of 13years. Starts secondary school at the age of 14years and completes Grade12 at the age of 18yrs.Lets say she goes to college for a teaching course for two years and gradutes at 20yrs. Will she wait to attain 21years for her to get married?even if she can reason and comprehend independently? is it not an infringement of human rights?This bill needs to be examined properly before it’s passed into law.or else more adjustments to the 21yrs requirement will come up forth.e.g when one is required to obtain an NRC,Voting age,and when some is supposed to enter a Beer hall to drink alchol.

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  24. THE BEST IS TO SAY THAT NOT EVERY ADULT IS FIT FOR MARRIAGE, UNLESS THEY ARE 21 YEARS AND ABOVE. INSTEAD OF CHANGING THE DEFIITION OF A CHILD.

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  25. Okay it is only when it is marriage seems one can still have girlfriend who is below 21. Could we have this clarified please

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  26. Wow! Just when I thought these PF people couldn’t sink any lower than that mandatory HIV testing, they come up with this even dumber idea. At ‘child’, are you kidding me? This will just worsen the problem of dependence and other vices.

    OK let me get this straight. Is this decision based on what? Biological factors, social factors or what?

    Because biologically someone as young as 18 is mature enough physically, emotionally and mentally) to have a bay. Socially are they saying the problem of early marriages and child defilement is based on age? I.e. “if we increase the legal age of marriage then early marriages and child defilement will reduce”?. I mean what kind of warped thinking is this?

    Socially Zambia’s lifespan is a low 35, meaning people will only be married…

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    • continue reading…

      Socially Zambia’s lifespan is a low 35, meaning people will only be married for 13 years maximum before they die.

      Also by 21 most people would have already a college degree and should be fending for themselves.

      This will just exacerbate the problem… PF who really makes these dumb suggestions for you, like all the time?

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  27. According to some scientific research I did, I found out that people with big Penises are very prone to HIV transmissions. Among my friends who had contracted AIDs, many were well endowed with a lot of meat. Many are deceased. Can the Ministry of Health look at this issue critically, may be introduce Mandatory Penis Inspections in Hospitals, and if the size is abnormal , put them in quarantine. They are the prime movers of Aids.Am sure the PF govt will relish this idea. On Marrying age, Since youths are classified as 35 years.May be the honororable minister can put age for marriage at 35.That’s the only way we can fully exploit the girl child ‘s potential.

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  28. PF crazy PF why have you chosen 21? From a dream? From a vision? Randomly? Have you ever doe any research on this? Show us. The current laws are just alright. Just police them properly otherwise you will just cause lots of underground relationships

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  29. This is now the legalizing of homosexuality and lesbianism. They don’t want Young People to get married and then they’ll make homosexual legal. Just wait and see.

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  30. Today the average age for puberty is 11 yrs and this minister expect that much energy to lie dormant for that long? Did she consult the Alangisi? They’d surely oppose this strongly

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  31. It will bring a lot of sex before marriage
    as between sixteen and eighteen sex will remain legal.Only marriage will be illegal

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    • I note with interest that the legal age for marriage in CHINA is 22. We have so much interactionnwith our chinese funders a just ask , are they also influencing our government decisions. Africa is unique Zambia is unique lets us be proud of our Zambian heritage and culture

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  32. This Minister Must be single or has a failed marriage. I had my first degree at 22. 18 is Ok just bring up other developmental issues not this crap.

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  33. @38 ,P.INSPECTOR, WHAT IS THE SIZE OF YOUR MBOOOLO is it normal ? abnormal (Big or small) UTH cannot measure and quarantine people, i challenge ZBS zambia bureau of standards to check the weight of the stick and golf balls standard weight should be 400-700grams above or below this range castrate the man , these are people who once allowed to marry and produce, they produce kids like Victoria Kalima

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  34. Guys just make it 18. There are tuma nice 18, 19 and 20 year olds that I wouldnt mind marrying. Come on guys..

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  35. Problem is child marriages for girls. The legal age is now 16. People are failing by marrying younger ones than 16. What will make them manage to switch to marrying the over 21 year ones?

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  36. The Honorable Minister of Gender should have first consulted or carried a feasibility study before airing such a proposal. The Zambians kids now usually finish education early as compared to the past kids. They usually enter grade1 at age of 6 by the time they are 19 or 20 years they are already out of tertiary and already in employment. Does that mean these young ones will still be considered as kids when they are already contributing to the economy of the nation as TAX payers?
    For our elders to arrive at the age of 18years and above they sat down, and consulted why now when we are not having some grade seven repeaters as it was the case in our time. Kids of now have enough secondary spaces hence they just pass through grade seven at first attempt, and this means they finish tertiary…

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  37. Let the govt start with Luo who is enticing children young enough to be her grand sons to explore her blossom complete with canal knowledge of her “limbwata”.

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  38. no child less than 21 years shall be employed whether in informal sector or formal sector even with qualification becoz its not allowed in labour laws to employ children.

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  39. Ms Kalima, the age of consent in the UK is 16. Have you done research on best practice in the world. When you pass laws that make no sense, people will ignore the law and ignore your government.
    Are you going to separate couples whose wives are between 16 and 21.
    What problem do you want to solve?
    Do you want to lower the fertility rate?
    Do you want to lower the birth rate?
    If you want to raise literacy rate. Improve incomes and build schools.
    Rule of thumb: Don’t make statements before you consult technocrats. They are more educated than you?

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