Chairperson for M’mbelwa District Council, Dan Nkosi, said this on Monday during commemoration of the Day of African Child (DAC) which was held at Inkosi Kampingo Sibande Headquarters.
He observed that certain norms, traditions and cultural practices have outlived their values and importance, especially in times of democracy when people’s rights, including those of children, have to be protected.
Nkosi underscored the need for traditional leaders, who are custodians of cultures, to only embrace cultures and traditions which are dynamic to spur socioeconomic development in their jurisdictions and to abandon retrogressive traditions.
He cited a culture of ‘lobola’ as a common retrogressive and archaic practice which parents exercise to drive their underage little girls to child marriages for dowry wealth to improve their household economic status.
“A culture of ‘Lobola’ is one of the many harmful cultural practices which abuse Rights of children, especially little girls who are pushed into child marriages instead of being in school to mold their future,” Nkosi pointed out.
He pleaded with chiefs and other community leaders to also consider framing punitive by-laws to curb the problem and promote education of little girls.
The Chairperson assured the people that the Council would continue implementing children and youths’ friendly programmes aimed at promoting their welfare, with a lot of emphasis on ensuring that all children enjoy equal access to quality education.
Chief Kampingo Sibande appealed to his subjects to report to relevant authorities all cases relating to abuse of Children’s Rights.
An Official from Mzimba South District Education Manager (DEM) Office, Mighty Kayoyo asked community members to always consider children’s rights first when disasters strike.
This year’s commemoration theme was ‘Humanitarian Actions in Africa: Children’s Rights First.’
(By Ed-Grant Ndoza / mana)