Mwatakazembe seeks laws to empower chiefs
Mwansabombwe, May 4/13/ZANIS——–Chief Mwatakazembe of the Lunda people of Mwansabombwe District in Luapula Province has called on government to empower chiefs with laws that will help them deter people from marrying off their children at a tender age.
The Mwatakazembe says it is difficult for chiefs to control child marriages under the current laws, saying the current laws have embraced a lot of freedom which protects a child.
He observed that under the current legislation, chiefs are not protected to enforce laws deterring child marriages adding that doing so may lead to them being taken to the courts of law.
The Mwatakazembe said this when Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister, Nkadu Luo, paid a courtesy call on him at his palace before the Launch of the Luapula Province Campaign against child marriages in Mwansabombwe district.
He said he does not tolerate issues of child marriages, adding that with the backing of a law against child marriages the issue would come to an end overnight in his chiefdom.
The traditional leader observed that during the colonial days, laws were vested in the hands of chiefs which made it easier for them to deal with issues and put the people in line with government programs.
He said the campaign against child marriages by the government is welcome and that he will hold meetings with the chiefs in his chiefdom to find ways of spearheading the campaign.
And Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister, Nkandu Luo, said government is revising the Chiefs Acts and assured the Mwatakazembe that under the revised law, chiefs will be empowered to enforce some laws.
Prof Luo said government is aware of the influence chiefs have, hence identifying them as champions in the fight against child marriages.