—-Zambian Children New Life Centre (ZANELIC) Director, Kavwumbu Hakachima, has called on parents, guardians , traditional leaders and the government to prioritise the interests of children in decision making under all circumstances.
Ms Hakachima was speaking during a one-day mourning ceremony for the President, Michael Sata, at Chieftainess Mwenda’s palace in Chikankata district.
She stressed on the traditional leaders gathered that as people in the country mourn the late President, they have a crucial role to play in the protection of young people and children in the nation.
“Now that our President has passed on, how shall we take care of the young ones in these difficult times when many of our children are being defiled on a daily basis?” she asked.
Ms Hakachima noted that some girls are impregnated and orphaned while others are being widowed as early as at the age of 15 or infected with HIV, therefore there is need to do something to change this situation.
She explained that there is need to come up with a holistic approach which will look at the problem from a traditional perspective.
Ms Hakachima recommended weekly collection of defilers for hand over to the police is a start.
She also said inculcating traditional values such as modest dressing by girl children in the villages and embracing old cultures such as Nkolola so that children can learn certain disciplines and values that preserved the respect of a woman in the past.
She appealed to the traditional leaders not to settle defilement cases within families because reporting such cases should be mandatory, saying failure to do so is a punishable offence.
Ms Hakachima urged traditional leaders in Chikankata district and throughout the country to set up committees in villages which will review all reported cases of defilement and early marriages on a weekly basis and feedback be given to the Chief for her information and record.
She encouraged all Zambians to be careful in the way they are going to choose the next leader.
Ms Hakachima said Zambians should choose a kind person who will be good to the people of Zambia, a God fearing person and with wisdom from above.