Luangwa District Commissioner, Eunie Mumba has commended the police and a traditional leader for their concerted efforts in the fight against early marriages and warned that his administration will not condone anyone encouraging the vice.
Mr Mumba commended the police and Chief Mphuka of the Chikunda People for disrupting the marriage of a 14-year-old girl and a 21-year-old boy of Lufasi village in Chief Mphuka’s area who wedded on Saturday, Jan 25th.
He expressed sadness at the increase of early marriages in the district which he said has contributed to poverty in the area due to high levels of illiteracy among the young people.
The District Commissioner said poverty levels in the district were so high because of the illiteracy levels caused by early marriages.
Mr. Mumba added that it was sad that parents in the area were encouraging early marriages instead of taking advantage of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s education policy which is aimed at reducing poverty levels and illiteracy in the country.
He said his office will not take kindly anyone encouraging early marriages in the district and urged the Police Victim Support Unit (VSU) and the traditional leadership to intensify sensitization among the people on the importance of educating their children.
Mr Mumba said the PF Government has embarked on construction of more primary and secondary schools including tertiary institutions so that people can access education and be able to make informed decisions on issues of development.
And the police in Luangwa have confirmed detaining the parents for the young couple and the 21-year old boy for counselling.
Luangwa Police Officer In-Charge, Muleta Mate, said police were holding the parents of the young couple together with the 21-year old, Mabvutu Zulu for counselling.
Assistant Superintendent Mate said the Police’s VSU has counselled the girl and that has found a school place for her to start Grade 8.
He said the girl wrote her grade seven examinations last year but could not make it to Grade 8 hence the two parents consenting to the marriage.
Assistant Superintendent, Mate added that the Police VSU will work flat out with the traditional leadership in the area to curb the vice of early marriages.