Paramount Chief Kawinga of the Yao tribe has urged chiefs to end child marriages in their areas and has warned the chiefs against marrying underaged girls.
He made the statement at the Chiwanja Cha Yao (Yao heritage) ceremony which was conducted on Saturday at Tambala Village in the area Traditional Authority Tambala in Dedza.
The Paramount Chief of the Yaos in collaboration with Chiwanja Cha Yao will be visiting Yao chief’s in the country to encourage them to embrace their culture, to promote peace and harmony with other tribes and promote girl child education.
Speaking with reporters, Paramount Kawinga noted that districts of Machinga, Zomba and Mangochi have registered high number of unwanted pregnancies among young girls a situation which has forced him to encourage Yao chiefs to discourage early marriages in their communities.
Kawinga added that the chiefs should make sure that girls are removed from marriages and sent back to school to continue their education.
“Chiefs should not take this matter lightly, this issue need a proper response. Any chief found marrying young girls will be forced to resign from his chieftaincy. l will revisit these areas to find out if the chiefs have managed to end early marriages in their areas,” he explained.
In his remarks, Publicity Secretary for Chiwanja Cha Yao Reverend MacDonald Sembereka said the ceremony is important because it is uniting Yaos across the country.
He urged chiefs to actively participate in the development activities the country.
He said there is lack of enough facilities for education in Yao areas and asked government to provide a motivation for Yao children to access education.
On his part, a representative of royal family Kayisi Sadala said the program of visiting chiefs is very exciting as it will bring together all Yaos and provide a platform where young ones who are not aware about Yao tribe origin will be provided with information.
Districts where many people of the Yao tribe hail from include Mulanje, Blantyre, Dedza, Zomba, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mangochi, Balaka and Salima.