The Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud has urged chiefs across the country to combat gender-based violence and early marriages.
Daud made the call on Saturday during elevation ceremony of Group Village Headman Yohane Jere to the position of Sub Traditional Authority (STA) Yohane Jere at his headquarters at Ekwendeni in Mzimba.
She told the crowd that the moment has come for chiefs to take the lead in ensuring that gender-based violence and early marriages are eradicated in their communities.
“Make sure you preach to the people about the dangers of gender-based violence and early marriages as you deal with corruption and various pandemics that have struck the country and the world at large. If women are abused and young girls are forced into marriages, this country will never prosper. We will be a non-productive nation.
“Chiefs, make sure you’re reporting families who are forcing young girls into marriages to the police so that the law may take its course; women, too, should report abuse to the appropriate authorities, as should men.” Daud stated.
The deputy Minister has since urged people in the country to continue using Covid-19 preventative steps and practicing good hygiene to avoid diseases like Cholera, Polio, and Scabies.
Honorable Catherine Gotani Hara MP, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government Dr Esime Kainja, Mzimba District Commissioner Rodney Simwaka, District Council Chair Councilor Yolanda Ngwira, and Inkosi ya makosi Mbelwa V were among those who graced the ceremony.