–Village headmen in Nakonde district of Muchinga province have called on government to stiffen laws and punishment for early marriages perpetuators.
The headmen observed that if the Anti-Gender Based Violence (GBV) Act is strengthened it will deter other wound-be offenders from engaging in the vice.
They said stiffing the laws and punishment of early marriages will also protect people that report perpetuators to relevant authorities.
The headmen said some of the factors that cause people not to report early marriages are that they are threatened by the offenders after they are released by the law agencies and at times they are scared of being bewitched.
And Provincial Child Development Coordinator, Michael Mwansa, urged the headmen to be alert and monitor as well as report GBV cases such as early marriages and child abuse among others.
Meanwhile, Anti Gender Based Violence Task Force Chairperson, Hector Munkondya, said Muchinga province has recorded over 569 cases of GBV from January to September this year.
Mr Munkondya revealed that from the first to third quarter, 381 cases of GBV were reported, adding that 162 offenders were arrested with a total of 26 convicted.
He said most cases were still in the court of law.
The chairperson, however, noted that male victims do not come out in the open to report such cases, adding that this year only eight male victims have reported on GBV cases.
Mr Munkondya further encouraged the headmen to encourage and sensitise their subjects on the dangers of GVB.