Sub-traditional authority Phweremwe of Phalombe district has expressed concern over the increase in teenage pregnancy cases in the area, saying many girls are being impregnated by men from Mozambique.
The chief said this during an interface of different stakeholders on how to curb the teenage pregnancies in his area organised by Phalombe Youth Arms Organisation (PYAO).
In an interview, the chief said men from Mozambique cross over to his area and engage in sexual affairs with teenage girls.
“Most of these teenage pregnancies are fathered by Mozambican men as you know we’re just meters away as my area borders with the Mozambique.
“I think due to lack of role models these girls drop out from school and they indulge themselves in sexual malpractices with these Mozambican men, government and other stakeholders should help us,” he said.
In his remarks, Child Protection Officer for the area, Charles Sipuni, said most of these teenage pregnancies are coming because of negligence of parents who fail to control these girls.
“Parents are not taking part in protecting the children here, they do not control their movements, there is need that parents should change their mindsets and be responsible,” he said.
In a separate interview, PYAO Executive Director, Vincent Thom, said the interface was important as now stakeholders are on the same page on reasons of increase in teenage pregnancies.
“Going forward, we’ll be able to formulate reasonable ways as a district, of how we can deal with the increase in teenage pregnancies, our girls need to be in school not in marriages,” he said.
Last year, 2,784 cases of teen pregnancies and 800 child marriages were recorded in Phalombe over a period of six months following closure of schools.