GOVERNMENT will continue working with traditional leaders in an effort to end child marriages, President Edgar Lungu has said.
He said government realised the vital role traditional leaders played in the fight against child marriage and gender-based violence (GBV).
President Lungu was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on chief Nkula of the Bemba-speaking people in Chinsali district yesterday.
He said his role was to enhance good relations between government and traditional leaders to end such vices.
“Traditional leaders have always been instrumental in the fight against GBV and early marriages because they are the custodians of traditional customs. So as government, we are very grateful for their efforts and we will always work with them to ensure that such vices are stopped,” he said.
President Lungu reaffirmed that government had embarked on the upgrading of schools in rural areas as one of the ways to curb early marriages in Zambia.
He assured the chief that most of the schools in his area would be upgraded as a directive had already been given to the Ministry of Education.
“We understand that education is one way of ending child marriages. For this reason, my government has embarked on upgrading schools so that every girl child can have access to education.
“We are committed to ending child marriage and encourage girl children to get educated because we believe that when we educate a girl, we educate the nation,” he said.
And chief Nkula commended President Lungu on taking the lead in curbing political violence.
He reiterated the need to maintain peace and unity as the country was heading towards the August 11 general elections.
Chief Nkula urged politicians to campaign peacefully and desist from hate speech.
“As a Christian nation, there is need to maintain peace during the election period. Politicians should tell the people what they will do when they form government, instead of insulting their opponents,” the chief said.
Chief Nkula also commended the Head of State on bringing development to Chinsali district.
“The people here are grateful for the development that you and your government have brought to Chinsali, particularly in the education sector,” he said.
Chief Nkula said he would continue giving guidance and working