Kalambo — KALAMBO District Commissioner (DC), Mr Lazaro Komba yesterday issued a strong warning to parents or guardians who marry off their school-going age daughters, saying they risk facing prosecution and 30 years jail term.
The DC said police officers in the district have been ordered to arrest culprits for the offence.
He said that there were people who thought the matter was a mere joke, insisting that the government will spare no one over child marriage.
Mr Komba asked parents to say no to early marriages so that their children can concentrate on their education to fulfill their dreams in future.
He was speaking during a Ward Development Council (WDC) meeting and public rally held at Mbuza village in Kalambo District.
The DC went on to say that it was high time the law took its course to get rid of early marriages as well as dealing with early pregnancies.
“Communities should now change by shunning the common habit of negotiations between offenders and parents of the affected girls so that we can find the final and conclusive solution to the vice,” he directed.
Mr Komba said parents who will collude to have their school children married and those who will participate during issuance of dowry will be treated as parties to that offence, prosecuted at once and sent to jail immediately.
“If you know that you are a mother or father and then get your daughter married, you should prepare to spend 30 years in jail … this shall include witnesses of that marriage,” he added.
Mr Komba further asked schoolgirls in the precinct to discourage the act of teenage pregnancies and early marriages, saying that they added no value to their lives.
He requested the communities to observe maximum level of morals as well as inculcating into them the education loving culture instead of engaging themselves in evil habits.
“I also want to remind school girls to concentrate in their education so as to avoid temptations that are likely to land them into trouble and totally ruining their future.
Meanwhile, the DC directed Kalambo Police Commanding District Officer (OCD) to arrest parents for allegedly marrying off their daughter aged 17 years old, who is in Standard VII at Mbuza Primary School in the district.
Similarly, the DC has ordered the OCD to apprehend a man identified as Asulwa Sikombe for marrying a 17 years schoolgirl.
The available report has it that Sikombe, a resident from Mbuza village got married to the school girl in June this year.