VICE President Inonge Wina says government is pleased with Chief Chikanta’s efforts in reducing child marriages in his chiefdom.
Ms Wina says the efforts by Chief Chikanta in curbing child marriages and gender based violence (GBV) in the area will further consolidate government’s efforts in various social-economic programs aimed at reducing poverty in the country.
“Ending child marriages reduces exposure of girls to violence and abuse, health risks such as death during child birth, keeps girls in school and allows them to be active members of society thereby breaking the cycle of poverty.” she said.
The vice president said this in a speech read for her by southern Province minister Dr. Edify Hamukale at the Chuungu traditional ceremony of the Tonga people of Chikanta chiefdom in Kalomo yesterday.
She further commended the Zambia Centre for Communication Programs (ZCCP/KWATU) for partnering with traditional leaders to end child marriages.
Meanwhile ZCCP/KWATU Chief of party, Helen Lungu said the organization has trained and supported chiefs to create Gender Based Violence (GBV) secretariats in their chiefdoms.
Ms Lungu said the secretariats which have been equipped with computers to help chiefs document data will serve as reference points for G.B.V victims.
She further called for continued partnership with government in supporting the chiefs with resources to enable them fight G.B.V and child marriages. “It is our hope that government will continue to hear the plight of our chiefs as they ask for resources to end child marriages and G.B.V.” Ms Lungu said.
And chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people in Chipata said the fight against G.B.V, child marriages, H.I.V/AIDS and poverty can only be won if the economic well-being of people is improved.
“Our coming here is to learn how our brother (Chief Chikanta) is working with the private sector to develop his chiefdom instead of depending on government alone, “ said Chief Madzimawe during the event..