Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa of Mzimba has taken the battle against child marriages to an advanced stage as he has just terminated three marriages involving minors and handed them to police through his special committee on the elimination of child marriage.
According to a statement from his royal office, the first marriage involved Sydney Nkhata, 20, a standard Seven dropout who married a 17-year-old girl.
The second culprit is Breaker Nyirenda, same age, but a form one dropout who married a 16-year-old.
They are both from Dowera Phiri village in the district.
“It remains my special appeal that as citizens we should continue working together in fighting child marriage because such acts are not only detrimental to the development of the country but also dangerous to the lives of our children.
“While on this point, I am depressed to share a sad story with you all. Last week (16th September 2020) we lost a 14 year old girl who died due to complications after getting married to a 16 year old boy. The two illegally engaged in January 2020. The late was due to deliver on the said date; and due to the said complications, the baby also passed on,” he narrated.
On this matter, the Inkosi said they have handed over to police the parents of the deceased after learning that they silently accepted a cow as part of dowry for the illegal marriage.
The parents also took the expectant girl to traditional midwives instead of the hospital for safe delivery.
The boy then proceeded to illegally marry an 18-year-old girl, a form one drop out.
According to M’mbelwa, the girl has been handed over to police for marrying a minor.
Last month, the Inkosi stripped of Chieftaincy title of Jeremani Mahobe for marrying a minor.
M’mbelwa said he was disheartened to learn that as a leader who is expected to champion the elimination of child marriages, Mahobe was at the forefront doing the opposite.