Minister of Gender Commmunity Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, has called on Zomba District Council to formulate by-laws that should protect children from all forms of abuse.
The Minister made the call at Nsondole Primary School ground at Traditional Authority Kuntumanji’s area in Zomba during commemoration of Day of the African Child.
Kaliati observed that many children in Malawi face alot of problems that call for collective responsibility to address the problems through the by-laws.
“Children face alot of abuses as such there is need to formulate by-laws to protect them against all forms of child abuse,” the Minister added.
She particularly asked Zomba District Commissioner, Dr. Smart Gwedemula, and traditional chiefs in the district to ensure that all who break the by-laws are taken to task, convicted and sentenced to prison.
She therefore appealed to parents and guardians to ensure that all children below five are enrolled to Community Based Child Care Centres to prepare them for primary education.
Kaliati added that all parents and guardians should enroll their under five children to the care centres else the by-laws should apply.
She called on the courts in the country to grant stiff penalty to those that defile children and those that indulge in all other forms of sexual exploitation against children.
“Let me appeal to courts to never grant bail to defilement suspects and if suspects are found guilty, the courts should grant them stiffer penalties to spare our children from the malpractice,” the minister added.
District Social Welfare Officer for Zomba, Christopher Ndaona, said there was need to put up measures that should protect children against all forms of child abuse apart from formulation of the by-laws.
He said the commemoration of the Day of the African Child was significant for the people of Kuntumanji area because it provided an opportunity to raise awareness on all issues that affect childr development and their well being.
“The commemoration of the Day of the African Child provided opportunity to people of Kuntumanji area to appreciate problems that affect children in their day to day life,” Ndaona added
The Day of the African Child is commemorated on June 16 every year and Malawi commemorated the day on June 30 under the theme “Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children.”
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