Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent
GOVERNMENT has intensified child protection in communities following the death of 14-year-old Memory Machaya who died whilst giving birth at a shrine in Marange, Manicaland Province.
Through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Government has deployed community childcare workers in communities to raise awareness, identify child protection concerns and link clients with appropriate services through a referral pathway.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima, said in a statement said the deployment would assist in the identification of abuse cases and the perpetrators.
“The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare noted with sadness the case of the now deceased Memory Machaya who was 14 years old whilst giving birth at a shrine in Mutare district, Manicaland Province,” said Minister Mavima.
“The Ministry’s Social Development officers in Mutare, in collaboration with the members of the Victim Friendly Unit are following up the case to ensure that all children involved and those at risk are protected from further harm.
“Further investigations are being done in Kwekwe where the deceased’s mother is reportedly staying with another nine-year-old female child who is at risk of being married off to replace the deceased.”
Minister Mavima said they were implementing a National Case Management System for the Welfare and Protection of Children hinged on prevention of abuse, early identification and timely response.
“The Ministry would like to urge the nation to report all cases of actual and suspected abuse and exploitation through community childcare workers, nearest department of social development offices, nearest police station and helplines,” Minister Mavima said.
The support service that the ministry offers through the Department of Social Development in collaboration with other stakeholders include place of safety for survivors of abuse in registered and regulated places of safety, in circumstances where the children have been removed from their homes.
They also offer psychological support, support to access justice services, family casework and counselling services and support to access health and education.
“The Ministry further urges the nation to desist from violating children’s rights and to report all cases of actual or suspected abuse to make Zimbabwe a country where every child is free from abuse and thrives to attain their full potential for the betterment of the nation,” Minister Mavima said.