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Marrying off children is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, President Hichilema says

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“WE will enforce laws and bring to book those who marry teenage girls, and parents and guardians, who marry off our girls,” President Hakainde Hichilema has warned.

Speaking when he addressed Parliament on the progress made in the application of national values and principles, President Hichilema expressed concern that child marriages and teenage pregnancies have remained serious issues in the country.
“We have cases of girls as young as 12 years old being married off. We have cases of teenage girls, who are still children themselves, having children,” he said.

President Hichilema said government has since partnered with traditional and civic leaders, the church and civil society organisations to sensitise communities on the dangers of child marriages and teenage pregnancies.

He further said government is implementing the school re-entry policy and the keeping girls in school programme to ensure that the girl child remains in school and is protected from bad vices.

The President said free education policy among other measures, will further improve the circumstances of the girl child and the communities at large.

Meanwhile, the President said Gender Based Violence (GBV) is another vice that continues to affect the country.

He said government is also concerned about acts of GBV that go unreported especially in rural areas.

“In 2021, a total of 20,540 cases of gender based violence were recorded compared to 26,370 in 2020.This suggests a decrease of 22.1 percent. In spite of this reduction, a lot still needs to be done,” he said.

He urged citizens to be alert and make the fight personal and report any form of gender based violence to the law enforcement agencies.

“Working together, we can reduce to minimum, gender based violence.
we must love one another, because where love is present, there will be no violence.
our households, our communities and our nation, will be better off if we lead our lives with love for one another,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Friday, March 11th, 2022)

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President Hakainde Hichilema to attend state funeral of late Namibian President Hage G. Geingob in Windhoek

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PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema is tomorrow expected to travel to Windhoek, Namibia on to attend the State Funeral of Dr Hage G.Geingob, late President of the Republic of Namibia.

In a statement issued by acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mulambo Haimbe said the Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday, 24th February 2024 at Independence Stadium with attendance anticipated from foreign Heads of State and Government alongside other invited dignitaries.

“The Burial Service will take place on Sunday, 25th February 2024 at Heroes Acre,” he said.

President Geingob, 82, passed away on 4th February 2024 in Namibia, having served as President of the Republic of Namibia from 2015 until his passing.

Mr Haimbe said President Hichilema is expected to return to Zambia immediately after his engagement.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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Munir defies dress code,named and suspended from parliamentary proceedings

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BARELY 24 hours after Speaker Nelly Mutti’s directive against traditional wear in Parliament, Lumezi Member of Parliament  Munir Zulu has defied the order, leading to his suspension from Parliament.

The speaker has since named Mr Zulu for grossly disorderly behavior, stating that he had deliberately defied the guidance given yesterday.

This was after Mr Zulu was spotted in Parliament wearing a traditional attire of the people of Luapula.

“I am sure honourable member for Lumezi knows the dress code. And yesterday Members were guided so honourable member for Lumezi is deliberately defying the order and guidance given. Under the circumstances, honourable Member for Lumezi, I will name you,” she said.

“Mr Munir Zulu I find your behaviour grossly disorderly and sending you away for today’s sitting is insufficient. I therefore in accordance with standing order 208 name you,” she said.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mutale Nalumango says those threatening to have free education removed are irresponsible and should not be trusted.

Mrs Nalumango said free education is not an area to tamper with as it has given hope to many vulnerable children.

Mrs Nalumango was responding to a concern raised by Kabwe central Member of Parliament Chrizoster Phiri Halwindi during the Vice President question session ,who expressed concern by some leaders commenting that they will remove the free education policy.

However, Mrs Nalumango said it is unbelievable and saddening to hear some leaders utter such comments.

“It is actually unbelievable that any leader in any country would stand to fight free education.You truly want children to remain on the streets? You want the girl child to marry at 14-years old because they cannot go to school? You want boys to be fluffies or junkies? Free education has given hope, or did you want to be the only ones whose children go to school so that you continue to do wrong things? Therefore, it is irresponsible for anyone to declare that,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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Speaker bars MPs from wearing Ngoni traditional headgear in Parliament.

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SPEAKER of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has ordered Members of Parliament not to to wear the Nc’wala traditional ceremony head gear in the house as doing so is against parliamentary rules.

All roads are leading to the Eastern Province ahead of the ceremony taking place on Saturday.

Some MPs have been caught in the excitement to the extent of putting on the head gear in Parliament before being ruled out by the speaker.

Ms Mutti advised the MPs to show their support outside the house as standing order 206 (1) (C) does not allow for the wearing head gears in the house.

“Honourable members, I have one announcement to make to effect that it was observed yesterday during the sitting of the house that some members wire the Ngoni traditional head gear. This is possibly in support of the Nc’wala traditional ceremony scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 24th, 2024.

“”I wish to however, advise the house that standing order number 206 (1) (C) of the National Assembly standing orders 2021 is instructive of attire that is permissible. The provision allows members to wear decent traditional attire such as ‘Siziba’.

“[The] Decency of attire is a question of fact and maybe viewed differently especially if worn in an incomplete manner. I therefore find that the wearing of the Ngoni traditional head gear in the house was inappropriate in accordance with standing orders. Therefore I will not permit henceforth any honorable member to continue wearing such attires in the house,” Ms Mutti said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Local Government Garry Nkombo has said the national mourning declared in respect of the passing of President of Namibia Hage Geingob will not affect celebration of the Nc’wala traditional ceremony.

He made the announcement following a concern raised by his Chitambo counterpart, Remember Mutale, through a matter of urgent public importance.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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