—–Chief Chewe of the Bemba people in Chinsali District of Muchinga Province has called on other traditional rulers to support the campaign against early marriages initiated by the First Lady, Christine Kaseba.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS at his palace, Chief Chewe said the initiative is very welcome especially in rural areas where parents have opted to marry off their children due to high levels of poverty that have hit most rural areas.
The chief said it is time people recognized that giving non-judicial powers to traditional rulers like in the colonial days can help in instilling sanity in the chiefdom as chiefs will be mandated to hold courts where parents who force their children into marriage can be punished.
The traditional leader said the initiative by the First Lady has been long overdue and has since called on the media, church organizations, politicians and civil society organizations to join the call.
He said the culture of marrying off children at a tender age has slowly clipped in the Zambian society, saying the trend has contributed to high levels of illiteracy among future generations.
The traditional leader explained that there is need to harmonize the current legislation so that traditional rulers can be given powers to discipline erring subjects, saying all forms of disobedience that arise in the homestead can be handled by chiefs while that qualify under civil can be handled by local courts.