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Mbare Politicians Fail the Nation on Child Marriages


Civil Society Organizations working on child rights have accused politicians in Mbare of failing to address issues of child marriages that have become rampant in Harare oldest townships citing their limited involvement in community initiatives as the major problem.

Presenting a report on a project dubbed “Amplifying Community Voices Against Child Marriages” conducted in Norton, Chiweshe and Mbare, Programs Officer for Shamwari Yemwanasikana, Florence Mutake said duty bearers in Mbare were less involved in community initiatives to end child marriages.

“There has been a discourse because the structure itself is not politically stable,

“Some of them are of the MDC party and some ZANU PF so there is a disconnect in the politicians themselves who have the capacity to move with the findings that are coming from the community and lobby them at parliamentary level,

“That level of disconnect within the community has failed to drive the point home around bringing collective action from the lower level to top level to champion child marriages,” said Mutake in an interview with 263Chat.

She cited poverty as the driving force behind child marriages in Mbare with families are marrying off children even for the smallest of issues.

“Poverty is the main driver of these marriages in the community as a family of six is living below a dollar within a household,

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“So they resort to child marriages as a mechanism for survival,

“Lack of knowledge around child marriages as a practice that is now being criminalized, a lot of Mbare community members are still adhering to the practice of marrying off the girl child once she falls pregnant,” added Mutake.

She added that the emerging pop culture where girls are getting involved in sex marathons is also behind the rise in child marriages.

Speaking at the event, Goromonzi West legislator, Biata Nyamupinga echoed the same sentiments saying poverty and lack of education were the main drivers behind child marriages.

“For as long as our people are poor we are not going to end child marriages, for as long as government doesn’t want to have a pocket where parents with children can dip their hand and get help its also going to be big problem because they feel they can’t be looking after their daughter and the child,

“So they would rather have that child get married and the burden is off them,

“The issue of education, if we are not going to educate our children especially girls and if they can’t access free education for those cannot afford ending child marriage is going to be a nightmare,” said Nyamupinga.

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She called for a collective approach and the involvement of everyone to fight the problem of child marriages.

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