Thursday, 4 January 2018

CHILD MARRIAGES SHOCK FIRST LADY

The First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has expressed concern over the high rate of early childhood marriages, gender-based violence and rape cases especially of minors in Mashonaland Central Province.

She said this at Ponesai Vanhu Children’s Home in Shamva where she was donating belated Christmas gifts to six orphanages, child-headed families and to the elderly from all the eight districts in the province. Mashonaland Central reportedly has the highest levels of violence against women and children, but the First Lady has vowed ensure that it comes to an end. 

“I am embarrased to have realised that this province tops the list in issues of gender-based violence, rape and early child marriages. I’m failing to understand the reasons behind all this; what type of poverty has led our people to marry off their children at a young age; what has led the men to rape little children and fight with their wives in their homes?

“Today, I’m here on a celebratory note, so, I will not say much in regard to how this province has become a disgrace to the nation and the SADC region at large. I will come back and address these issues on a different day,” she said.

Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Advocate Martin Dinha also voiced concerns over the issues affecting the province.

“We are deeply disheartened by the issues affecting our people. It is my wish to see our children grow to be better people tomorrow. I went to Chipadze on New Year’s Eve and what I witnessed is worrisome. Eleven and 13-year-olds were getting drunk and doing all sorts of things and the highest cases of children running away from homes were recorded, and many others eloped during that time,” he said.

The First Lady’s visit is part of the nationwide visits she has been conducting to acquaint herself with social issues affecting the people. She called on Zimbabweans to adopt children from orphanages and give them a chance to be raised in traditional family set-ups, that would groom them for the future.

“These children that we are finding in orphanages are coming from our homes. I urge all of us to adopt them regardless of whose children they are, and bring them up in the traditional family setup. It is the collective responsibility of the community, well-wishers and non-governmental organisations to take care of these children. They are our children.” 

The First Lady also handed out gifts to expecting mothers and promised to hand-out televisions and decoders that were donated by well-wishers to different homes across the country. Herald




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