Mzimba East legislator WezzieGondwe says cases of child abuse, especially those involving a girl child, are rising in Mzimba District because most communities are not aware of laws that protect children.
The independent lawmaker said this at Chasato Ground in Mzimba on Sunday when the district commemorated the 2019 International Day of a Girl Child under the theme Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable.
Speaking at the event, Gondwe said there are many laws that exist to protect and promote rights of children, but such laws have not been disseminated accordingly to rural communities.
Gondwe said: “For instance, we have the Child Care Protection and Justice Act; and Marriage Divorce and Family Relations Act among other laws, to ensure that children, especially girls, are protected and not abused.
“But since such laws have not been disseminated to the grassroots communities, most people take issues of child abuse as normal when they are not.”
Mzimba South district social welfare officer Jim Wotchi said last year the district recorded about 918 cases of child abuse involving a girl child.
“For girls, 218 cases of child marriages were reported in 2018, 166 cases involving sexual abuse, 214 cases were about emotional abuse. At least 41 child labour cases and two involving child trafficking were also reported,” he said.
Mia Zgambo, a girl from Chasato Primary School, challenged stakeholders in Mzimba to protect girls.