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 meeting on Thursday, he said child marriages are on the rise in the district due to some guardians and parents who initiate their daughters’ marriages.
Chambo said such parents and guardians want financial support from the men who marry their children and at times cheat about the children’s ages.
He said: “We have had nine cases from January this year which we are failing to resolve because parents are supporting the marriages of their children by lying about their ages.”
On his part, Mulanje Magistrate’s Court assistant community services officer Felix Mwachiwa agreed with Chambo, saying some parents view their girl child either as a solution to their financial problems or a burden; hence, the decision to marry them off.
He said this was the reason it was necessary to engage communities on the negative impact of marrying girls on the society and its legal implications.
Plan International Malawi child programmes officer 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,” he said.