Traditional Authority Kilupula on Friday asked parents to stop pushing minors, especially girls, into early marriages.
According to the recent Malawi Demographic and Health Survey, almost half of women in the country –47 percent—marry before their 18th birthday.
The chief called for an end to parental indifference, saying most child marriages are either perpetuated or condoned by guardians in search for dowry.
“Most girls are forced into marriages by their parents who want to amass wealth from the dowry. As chiefs, we have formulated bylaws to fight such malpractice,” he said.
Karonga Police Station child protection officer Steve Bandewande saluted chiefs, State agencies and nongovernmental organisations for working together to reduce the number of child marriages.
He called for more concerted efforts to end child marriages which push girls out of school and expose them to domestic violence, poverty and maternal complications.
He warned parents against confronting police officers to falsify the age of girls married below the age of 18 to save their husbands from prosecution.
Foundation for Community Support Services (Focus) project coordinator Griffs Nyirongo saluted the chiefs for strictly enforcing bylaws to combat child marriages in the district. n