Police, NGO ‘interfere’ in local marriage

Law and Development Association (LADA) in collaboration with Chirundu police at the weekend retrieved a fifteen year old girl of Sikoongo Chiefdom in Siavonga District from a marriage.
Confirming the development to ZANIS in Siavonga today, LADA Executive Director Charles Dinda said his association in partnership with Chirundu police Victim Support Unit (V.S.U.) stormed the house were the girl had been forced into early marriage by her parents and retrieved.
Mr Dinda said the named girl, a grade nine pupil was married off to a man aged 20 from the same village.
He said apart from retrieving the girl from the matrimonial home, police also managed to pick up the named man and detained him in police custody at Chirundu police station and charged him with defilement.
And the named girl confirmed to ZANIS in an interview that she had been retrieved from her marriage of three days.
She disclosed that she was taken out of the house by police and LADA officials who later took her to Mtendere Mission Hospital were she was made to undergo thorough medical examinations.
She thanked LADA and police for coming to her rescue and promised not to get married until she completes her education.
Meanwhile, Mr Dinda has observed that there is need to empower children with basic knowledge on human rights and child abuse for them to protect themselves against evils of society.
He said it is against this background that his association has embarked on a project to train paralegal children in southern province.
Mr Dinda stated that the five day training will help children to interpret basics on human rights as well as formation of paralegal kids clubs in their schools.
He said the paralegals will be referring cases from both the community and schools to the police so that the law can be applied.
Mr Dinda however noted resources as their major challenge and appealed to partners such as UNICEF and Save the Children Norway to come on board.

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