Mulanje District Council Child Protection and Case Management Coordinator, Noel Chambo, has bemoaned the tendency of some parents who marry off their young girls to rich men for material and financial gains.

Speaking during a quarterly District Child Protection Committee (DCPC) meeting on Thursday, Chambo said child marriages are on the rise in the district due to some guardians and parents who initiate their daughters’ marriages.

He said such parents and guardians want financial support from prospective husbands.

“Sometimes parents even lie about the age of their child as defence to keep her into marriage.

“We have had nine cases from January, this year, which we are failing to solve because parents are supporting the marriages of their children by lying about their (young girls’) age,’’ Chambo said.

Assistant Community Service Officer for Mulanje Magistrate Court, Felix Mwachiwa, concurred with Chambo, saying some parents view their girl child either as a solution to their poverty or as a burden, hence the decision to marry them off.

He said this was why it was necessary to engage communities on the negative impact of marrying girls on the society and its legal implications.

Child Programmes Officer for Plan International Malawi, Frank Chifuno called for collaboration among stakeholders to fight the malpractice.

“We need to put our resources together and end this bad behaviour. We can learn to use modern ways of updating personal information digitally every year for easy tracking and to avoid being deceived by parents,” explained Chifuno.

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