———–Government says the increasing number of young girls reported to be forced into early marriages was worrying.
Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone warned that parents who were in the tendency of marrying off school going girls would be prosecuted.
Mr Sichone was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Chieftainess Mwanjawanthu and Chief Sandwe at their palaces in Petauke yesterday.
He said the future of the girl child does not depend on marriage and as such the community of Petauke and the Zambian people should strive to ensure that their children completed school.
The Minister who was flanked by Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Bert Mushala also said the area would remain backwards as long as girls were not allowed to continue with their education.
Mr Sichone noted that forcing a girl child out of school for early marriage was a violation of her human right and also a criminal offence adding that government would not hesitate to bring all those involved in denying a girl child education under the check of law.
He said government through the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs will soon launch a campaign at Lwangeni village in Chipata, against early marriages.
The Provincial Minister has since called on traditional leaders and school head teachers t to quickly coordinate and come up with the strategic road map through the PTA, village headmen in order to ensure that parents were sensitise on the importance of a girl child education.