By Aliko Munde
Mzimba, September 14, Mana: Mzimba South District Social Welfare Office has managed to withdraw 188 children from child marriages out of the 320 verified child marriages in the district.
Speaking Monday in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) Mzimba South District Social Welfare Officer, Bernard Nangwale, said his office with other stakeholders will continue withdrawing all children from such marriages up to September 30, 2020.
“Our deadline for the exercise remains September 30, 2020 and we hope we should able to accomplish our mission by that day,” Nangwale said.
He further expressed concern over some parents and guardians who conceal marriages of their under aged children.
“Most parents are aware to whom their children are married. But most of them are not willing to share with us such information and this is one of the challenges we are encountering in this initiative,” he said.
Nangwale also said some parents cheat on the ages of their children and that it sometimes becomes difficult for the office to end such a marriage given such a circumstance.
“They cheat us on the information elating the ages of their children because they know and understand that child marriage is a crime. The best way to handle the issue is to use national identification cards, which most of these children don’t have,” he said.
On her part, M’mbelwa District Council Director of Education, Youth and Sports, Fiddles Msowoya, said there is need for both financial and psychosocial support to the learners who have been withdrawn from the marriages.
“Parental neglect is a problem, that’s why many children get married at tender age and this counteract our efforts in ensuring that girls go and remain in school,” Msowoya said.