A traditional chief from Mansa district, northern province of Zambia, has dissolved six marriages involving older men marrying under-age girls.
Chief Chisunka of the Ushi people warned that his chiefdom would not tolerate early marriages, and that in future he would begin taking action against defiant parents who married off their children for the sake of receiving bride money, the state-run Zambia Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
Chief Chisunka said the girls, whose ages were not disclosed, had been taken back to school and that he would continue monitoring them until they completed their education.
“When I heard that some girls in my village had dropped out of school and had got married, I was very upset and so I got them back and enrolled them in school,” he said.
The chief regretted that some parents were prepared to sacrifice the future of their children for a paltry sum of money paid as dowry, instead of investing in them so that they could have opportunitie s of getting decent jobs.
He said he was disappointed with some human rights activists and other people wh o were involved in child protection for failing to protect children in his area against abuse by their parents and their guardians.
Chief Chisunka said it was also disheartening to note that some parents were telling suitors of their underage children that he (the chief) had no right to stop them from marrying their daughters as he was not their father. Panapress .