VP launches regional child marriages law

Source: VP launches regional child marriages law – Sunday News November 13, 2016

Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT Mugabe is firmly committed to ending child marriages in Zimbabwe and the Sadc region at large as it deprives young people the opportunity to acquire education, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

VP Mnangagwa said this yesterday during the launch of the Sadc Model Law on eradicating child marriage and protecting those already in marriage at the 40th Plenary Assembly Session of the Sadc Parliamentary Forum in Harare. He said as a trained teacher, President Mugabe understands the transformative power of formal education and the need to keep children in school.

“Our President knows that child marriages prevents young people from achieving their full potential. lt deprives them of the opportunity to go to school,” he said.

“Accordingly, he (President Mugabe) has on many occasions spoken out very strongly against child marriages. Honourable members and distinguished delegates, I am happy to reveal that advocacy and activism against child marriages has been as vociferous in our Parliament as in the rest of the other parliaments in the Sadc region.”

The Sadc Model Law on eradicating child marriage and protecting those already in marriage was developed by the Sadc Parliamentary Forum and its partners. lt is expected to provide guidance to member states in establishing or refining national laws to eradicate the scourge of child marriages. VP Mnangagwa said the model law is important as it provides evidence-based guidance on how the region can address the child marriages menace.

“Based on the latest evidence, the model law will no doubt be an invaluable sounding board to countries as they reform, develop or revitalise their laws related to child marriages and their impact,” he said.

“It is, therefore, gratifying to note that as a result of our common position on issues to do with child marriages, it was possible for members of the Sadc PF to consult widely and come up with this model law.”

The Sadc PF vice-president Dr Joseph Njobvuyalema said the model law encourages Sadc member states to be accountable in the execution of policies, enactment of laws and in coming up with strategic plans aimed at eradicating child marriages.